An Open Letter to Mary J. Blige Re: Her Buffoonish Burger King Commercial
Dear Mary J.,
Gurl, you know we love you. Like for real. We love your triumph. We love your music. We love your passion. But we have no love whatsoever for the recent debacle you decided to lend your image and vocals to. Mary, sometimes ignorance really is bliss; because up until a few hours ago, I had nothing but warm fuzzy feelings for you. In fact, I was just rocking to one of your jams Madame Noire posted on their Facebook page this morning. I had no idea that just hours later, those warm, fuzzy feelings would be replaced with frosty disappointment in light of troubling new information.
I think you know what I’m referring to. No? Ok, let me refresh your memory:
Unfortunately, my co-worker brought this video to my attention. Even though he tried to warn me that what I was about to witness was going to be a bit unsettling, nothing could have prepared me for the utter buffoonery I saw in that commercial.
Why Mary, why?
This is so beneath you. This harmonizing about chicken is a move I would associate with someone whose glory days were far behind them. You still have so much more to contribute to the arts and entertainment game that there was no reason you had to stoop to stereotypes. And I know you may be thinking everybody, across the world, loves chicken. It’s true, most people get down with the poultry; but as a black woman, singing passionately about chicken is not the move!
Not to mention the way you interrupted the manager to thirstily inquire about the contents of this song-worthy chicken wrap was just too much for me to stomach. And to make a bad situation worse you used the melody from your own song “Don’t Mind.” Mary, boo this hurts my heart, truly. You don’t know how much I love this song. I love it so much I bought it when I’m typically an illegal download type of girl. But now you’ve cheapened it. From now on, every time I listen to this up tempo love song, I’ll associate it with crispy, chicken, three cheeses, lettuce and ranch dressing. Do you see what you’ve done, the ramifications of your actions? You compromised your art to sell chicken wraps for the man. Sigh.
Burger King got you gurl. It’s no secret that they’re losing when it comes to the fast food game. I mean Wendy’s beat their sales this year. They’re desperate. And you know what desperate execs do when they need to make money? They hurriedly throw together clichéd, often stereotypical, advertising campaigns. And that’s where you came in, Mary. Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the “urban” (aka black) demographic. And God knows black folk, won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it.
I know you know that was sarcasm, Mary.
At this point, what’s done is done. But gurl, this cannot happen again. You are the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, not a court jester for the so-called King of Burgers.
With [Tough] Love,
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