Lil Wayne continues to face the fallout for his crude lyrical reference to the slain Civil Rights figure Emmett Till: he has now been dropped as a Mountain Dew spokesman.
Despite Wayne issuing a public apology for comparing a sex act to Till’s death (the teen was tortured and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955), and L.A. Reid, the head of Epic Records, reaching out to the Till family personally, the rapper has lost his promotion deal with Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew’s parent company, PepsiCo, issued a statement yesterday saying, “We do not plan any additional work with Lil Wayne moving forward,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “His offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”
The controversial verse was included in a remix of Future’s “Karate Chop” that was leaked online in February. Sarah Cunningham, a publicist for Lil Wayne, said that the split was caused by “creative differences” and declined to speak further on the matter.
Epic issued a longer statement after the track arose. “We regret the unauthorized remix version of Future’s ‘Karate Chop,’ which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics. Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family . . . we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version.”
This is the second time in a week that Mountain Dew has pulled its controversial promotion by a hip-hop star. After public outcry this week over Tyler, the Creator’s advertisement for the soda – which critics argued enforced racial stereotypes and downplayed violence against women – the company yanked the ad.