The latest K-mart commercials that feature grade-school children making quick-witted “Yo Mama” jokes about their classmates’ fashion-forward choices and another with a tween rap crew is causing a raucous. While some find no harm in the ads, others are furious about the commercials’ “racist” undertones, reports Clutch.
“Did yo mama get that hoodie at K-mart?” one grade school kid asks another. “Yeah dawg!”, a young Latino boy replies. “Well yo mama must have cavities because that hoodie is sweet!”
“Well yo mama is so fiscally responsible, she got all that on free layaway!” a witty African-American girl jokes.
“Ohhhhhhh!” the kids in the schoolyard yelled.
“Your commercials are racist and disgusting,” one commenter says in all-caps on the K-Mart Facebook page. “I won’t be shopping here!” Admittedly, K-Mart is attempting to market these commercials to the budget-conscious and/or urban consumer. But I don’t think these slapstick, all-in-good-fun commercials are racially charged.
The joke is that the “Yo Mama” jokes are unexpected compliments, not insults. Yet, a large wave of television viewers are not tickled by the satirical wordplay. One viewer likened the Yo Mama jokesters to street kids or gang members. “They’re babbling and you can’t understand a word they say,” another person complains. “Very very poor example for kids to see.”
A K-Mart representative replied, “This commercial is a playful take on Kmart Layaway. We regret if it wasn’t your style.”