Posted in: Celebrity News

Burger King Pulls Mary J. Blige Ad [Video]

mary j blige

A new Burger King ad featuring Mary J. Blige singing about fried chicken has been pulled by the fast food restaurant. The company said that the commercial was taken off the air because of music licensing issues, but because it had been criticized for being racist.

Burger King said that it hopes to have the ad back on the air soon after the licensing issues are resolved.

But Burger King may want to just get rid of the ad since several people have criticized the TV spot for being racist. Madame Noire, a lifestyle publication for black women, wrote an open letter to Burger King, saying:

“Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the ‘urban’ (aka black) demographic and they used you. Because God knows black folk won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it.”

Burger King, which recently fell behind Wendy’s as the second biggest burger chain, recently released a new menu. The Mary J. Blige commercial was used to promote Burger King’s new premium chicken strips. David Beckham, Salma Hayek, and Jay Leno have also created ads for the new menu.

Here’s Mary J. Blige’s Burger King ad.

If the video above doesn’t play, here’s another version from TMZ.

Do you think the ad is racist?

[Update: Burger King has released an apology for releasing an “unfinished” commercial.]

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115 Responses to “Burger King Pulls Mary J. Blige Ad [Video]”

  1. Michelle Garcia

    Are you effing serious this is not racist, the fact that this womens group is trying to make it out to be shows how narrow minded they are, I am not black and I can sure get down on some chicken, I think the ad is witty and the criticism is misdirected and just needs to stop, this is 2012 not the 1960's get over it!

  2. Gabriel Etienne

    Lol…yeah, a bit too sensitive on this one. It was obviously meant to be funny. I am far more "offended" by the 'urban' McDonalds commercials.

  3. Michael Augustin

    how is this racist? wtf…people need to grow up…focus on the real racism like profiling and the ones that lead to social upheavals and death…

  4. Leslie Victoria Anglin

    It really was not that serious…people need to get over themselves and stop calling everything racism

  5. Michelle Gorham

    Firstly, the song is about the content of the desired entree, and Mary does a hell of job belting out crisp chicken, NATO and cheese and all that. How many of you remember, 'Two all need parties, special sauce lettuce cheese….?' Secondly, we have to stop being overly critical about advertisements. Yes, its true, most black people like fried chicken, but most black people prefer home cooked fried chicken over the King of Burgers. And Lastly, its MJB! I'm convinced that if anyone has our back in protecting women of color from negative stereotypes, its Mary!

  6. Ama Green

    Hell I think I know more white ppl that like fried chicken than black ppl!

  7. Johnitta Clemons

    Didn't think it was racist at all. Made me want to go out and get one!

  8. Jeana L Anderson

    Racist no .. Fire the Ad Executive YES!!!
    Silly commercial

  9. Jeana L Anderson

    Racist no .. Fire the Ad Executive YES!!!
    Silly commercial

  10. Dilemma Onassis

    When you think about how Selma got the salad, Beckam got the smoothie, and Leno got the whole menu…..but it was just funny as bell to me!

  11. Nicole McKenzie

    There is nothing Racist about it at all…it's chicken for crying out loud! I personally just don't think it's a good commercial for her, but black people aren't the only ones that eat Fried chicken…woooow! People really need to lay off the drugs cause it's frying your brain cells…or get a hobby and stop caring about stupid ish!

  12. Shelby Lynn Meza

    Good grief, not racist. Kinda silly, but the wrap looks good. U don't eat a lot of fried foods, but this makes me want to go get one. They messing with Mary's money. Let that woman sing, good grief.

  13. Toby Erickson

    Not racist at all. Plus where did people get fried chicken from?? She's saying crispy chicken not fried chicken. This is a bk ad not a kfc ad smh. I think people think its racists because she's a celeb. Now if she was a regular black person like the black lady doing the popeyes commercial,there wouldn't be an issue. I guess we're all getting bored and need to complain about something

  14. Toby Erickson

    Now that i think about it,wasn't there black people in the mcdonalds chicken snack wrap commercial! Since we're on this racial thing. Back in the slavery days when rich white people had black women as maids cleaning and stuff,i didn't see any controversy when a black woman doing a pinesol commercial.they said black people love chicken. I'm white and i love chicken too

  15. Smallacre Homestead

    I say its just plain old racism…from Madame Noire! If the individual who wrote the letter can't see people of different ethnicities living and working together without there being a racist underpinning to it, then the one who is racist is the letter writer….particularly when all the rest of us see is a former celebrity doing a commercial. They were spouting the same words that come from the mouths of the KKK, and they should be called on it.

  16. Tammy Way

    get over it == I am sick of hearing folks pulling that race card.

  17. Tamie Gilbert

    Not racist at all. Did tha hispanics get offended whn they b featured in Taco Bell commercials singing and dancing abt tacos? No! Lol ijs

  18. William Whitaker

    OK, I just watched the video. I had no problem with it. Period. As you may not be aware, I am a dude of a darker hue. I still like chicken like the majority of people (two (2) key words: majority, and people). I haven't grabbed my sword and shield over this commercial at all. If any hint of racial stereotype is present, it is that delivered by Burger King's choice of singer. Like watermelon is to…summer, Mary J. Blige is an R&B singer, typically associated with the black community. While her voice/music is appreciated by all, she still is supported by a large black following. Her style and delivery is "black". Always has been. That's no mystery. If not for Burger King's advertising execs having the customers in the piece being predominately white, with an a cast of customers in a darker hue, it would then be accepted as appropriate for broadcast on, say, BET, and other predominately black outlets. In this great country of ours, it is sad we have become so super-sensitive here. I am of the opinion should it have been Adele singing the chicken piece, we would all be clammering over to Burger King since Adele crosses all music genres AND ethnicities. I wonder if the argument of racism would rear it's ugly head again since few blacks were customers in the piece. Get over it people.

  19. Sharmette Calvin-Frempong

    Really? I'm not a Burger King fan, but I do enjoy Mary J's music. This argument over this particular commercial being racist is beyond ludacris and I'm sure that if she felt that it was degrading, she wouldn't have done it.

  20. Teresa Offutt

    I heard. That's just dumb. People need to complain about something with substance. Face it black folks, we like chicken! And I'm done. (Licking my fingers)

  21. Rebecca Mocciaro

    stupid commercial. But who eats there? Bring back the creepy King, not.

  22. Tom Balgord

    I don't know who writes this garbage but isn't it just as racist to stereotype "the urban demographic" as being comprised of black people or to suggest that white people are too rich to need burger king? How exactly are they reaching out toward the "urban" (a.k.a. black) customer with a commercial that clearly shows a white guy ordering? Aren't they really saying Mary J. Blige and all of her handlers are too stupid to realize that Burger King tricked her into singing a song about chicken because they are racist white people?

  23. Jackie Pollard-Goshá

    Black people need to stop w/ the stereotype that ALL BLACK people like fried chicken, then maybe this would not be viewed as racist.

  24. Jamie Wilson

    Always got to be a racist thing. Mary is black. I"m sure she would not have done the ad if she thought it was racist.

  25. Craig Young

    There are plenty of "white folk" in the commercial, too. Every time someone whines about racism, it's always the same: they just want attention for themselves. Noire can bite my chicken wings.

  26. Stephen Schroeder

    Oh pu-lease… This is not even close to racist. I read the open letter in full. ( I do not understand why anyone is seriously addressing this letter. This letter is full of grammatical errors, that alone should disqualify it from any meaningful conversation. She states in the letter, "And you know what desperate execs do when they need to make money? They hurriedly throw together clichéd, often stereotypical, advertising campaigns. “. Oh Really? Does she even watch BET? Every other commercial is your clichéd, often stereotypical, advertising campaign. Where is the outrage against those commercials? She also is also quoted with "but as a black woman, singing passionately about chicken is not the move!” This quote is the most ridiculous statement in the whole letter. Do advertising executives need to avoid any and all stereotypical links? What is next? Asians not allowed to appear in an Asian food ad? White blond girls are not allowed to play the “dumb blond” role? Avoid showing black kids playing basketball in a park? Where was Madame Noire’s outrage with Jennifer Lopez’ Fiat commercial where they show every stereotypical aspect of New York City?

  27. Claudia Garcia Trejo

    Come on! It's great, I thought it was going to be like the Undercover Brother fried chicken commercial! Relax and eat your processed chicken people!

  28. Jan Way Rudolph

    We do eat chicken, a lot of other races do too….and let her make money off of singing about it. If they asked to me sing, I would! LOL! This isn't racist! What would folks say if she sung about hamburger….we eat a lot of those, too!!!

  29. David Evans

    it was nothing wrong with this video like tim fresh people are just fcking stupid everybody play like they black sometimes so when someone black does it its a fcking problem!

  30. Brian L. Johnson

    Racist (adj.) The belief that a race accounts for differences in human behavior or ability
    Look harder at this video. The media expects us to eat this up in ignorance. Many stereotypes are present in this video and you would catch them if you compare this video to the rest of the new BK ads. First, the white gentleman kindly and clearly asks what is in the chicken wrap. Before the cashier can answer, someone loudly and rudely interrupts asking the same yet "simplified" question. Of course, it's a black woman, which the cashier is not excited to introduce, despite it being musical legend, Mary J. Blidge. The commercial continues to show the cashier reluctantly give the stage to Blidge followed by a hip hop inspired jingle. The silly song plays as the all-white crowd seemingly mocks hip hop culture by making odd rap faces and "raising the roof". I don't believe the commercial is racist but is highly insensitive giving it a rather questionable underlying tone. Make no mistake, there is a reason why they released an apology to the public. And it's not because anyone cares about a licensing mishap.

  31. Brian L. Johnson

    RESEARCH THE TOPIC BEFORE YOU COMMENT. Know the whole story including why BK pulled it and how it was not the commercial they led Mary to believe it was.

  32. Brian L. Johnson

    How can you give valid input regarding a commercial geared toward the african american community? Seeing as you are not the targeted demographic, I doubt this commercial would have any negative impact on you since you are not regularly cast in to these stereotypes. By definition, this commercial IS racist.

  33. Brian L. Johnson

    Mary J Blidge admitted that BK informed her the commercial was going to be different than how it turned out. There has to be a problem when even Mary J Blidge apologizes to her fans for the commercial.

  34. Brian L. Johnson

    Mary J Blidge admitted that BK informed her the commercial was going to be different than how it turned out. There has to be a problem when even Mary J Blidge apologizes to her fans for the commercial.

  35. Michelle Garcia

    Brian L. Johnson … this is just the close minded BS that I was referencing in my original post, it is a Burger King commercial the target demographic is anyone who has money in their pocket and wants some chicken!

  36. Brian L. Johnson

    Michelle Garcia LOL Sadly, thats not how the advertising industry works. There are a variety of different BK ads geared for different demographics. Please lookup the word "demographic". Thats the industry. It's not even a matter of opinion. Every ad in the world has a target audience and "anyone who has money in their pocket and wants some chicken" is not a valid demographic. PLEASE RESEARCH THE TOPIC. Watch the other videos. And read the articles about why they pulled it. Mary J Blidge herself apologized to her fans for the ad. Why do you think that was? If anything, you should try being OPEN MINDED and imagine what it's like to be an educated, and respectable African American male who has to constantly witness his people cast into hip hop and chicken stereotypes. Not to mention that in a time where racial profiling has proven to be most perilous, this stereotypical ad certainly does not help the current racial climate in this country.

  37. Oba Maro

    I guess I could probably see why people might think there is some racism going on. The reporter when inquiring about what Trayvon Martin was eating belted out 'was it fried chicken?' Mmm,

  38. Winnie Loh

    these people really have nothing better to do I supposed. What is so racist about this? Madness!

  39. Deborah Gray

    Ok I am trying to figure out the racist part! Because she black and singing about chicken? What? It looks like an 80's commercial.

  40. L'Oreal BecuzImworthit Terry

    Me too anyway who cares what ppl think If she was singing about a salad they would complain about that

  41. Deborah Gray

    L'Oreal BecuzImworthit Terry OK! People are crazy! Too many serious issues in the world!

  42. Fantasma Silencio

    This commercial is only racist if people WANT it to be racist. The only way this is racist is if people actually agree with the stereotype that they are trying to connect to this ad. Come on, do you REALLY think that Mary would have agreed to do the commercial if she felt she was being insulted in any way? So, if she was singing about a fish wrap would that be alright or would be some hidden insult to women? BK simply had a new item and they wanted Mary to advertise it. I'm not understanding the reason for the stupid controversy.

  43. Ruth Blessed Bea

    She was dressed like something outta the movie Greese… having a mini concert singing about chicken wraps. Nothing racist IMO…

  44. Nancy Whitty

    This is the most intelligent and well considered remark here. "insensitive" says it all in a nutshell. Most of these comments only show me how addicted people are to poison. It's not food at all. These people have lost their dignity as well as their health. It saddens me.

  45. Chasidy Thomason

    not racist at all thought she sang it good the first time I seen the video I did think anything about her being black and singing about chicken it did its job it mad me want to go buy one. it wasnt till I seen the news and the racist crap did I think about her being black and singing about chicken its stupid people that bring up stupid stuff like this that get people thinking stupid things people should think before they say things grow up stop making things about race.

  46. Chasidy Thomason

    Brian L. Johnson so let me ask you this if it was a white woman from a singing background would you still say it was racist no you wouldn't we as meaning white people eat and love chicken just as much as you meaning African Americans and I think the reason behind her saying sorry for the ad was so It wouln't blow up and bigger then it did its better to say sorry and move on then to keep blowing it up to be bigger

  47. Chasidy Thomason

    Brian L. Johnson oh and mary didnt really say sorry she said "I can she why they would think that but is was not intended that way "

  48. DeeJay Anwar

    For those of you who think it's so stupid..It only because you don't have a sense of loyalty or purpose for the Black Community..You would NEVER see a Jewish persn singing about placing things in an OVEN..

  49. DeeJay Anwar

    No black people aren't the only ones who eat chicken…HOWEVER they ARE the only group who has been demonized made fun of and made in CARTOONS EATING IT!!! KNOW HISTORY and you won't be so quick to be made a fool of… EVEN FOR MONEY…Those who DON't REMEMBER the PAST are CONDEMED TO REPEAT IT!!!!!

  50. Tim Fresh

    Not the same. IT'S not like crispy chicken made us pick cotton or hung us from a tree. Commercial was tacky but not racist. Black folks not the only crispy chicken eaters.

  51. Angela Gibson

    well I'm not offended about the commercial its not racist at all to me its my opinion but fast food resteraunts target black people in there commercials because us african americans love to eat and I lov bk and micky d's and I think also the reason they put african americans in there commercials is because u kno because different ethnicities or different people of the world other than african americans are trying to eat healthier and if they try to put only caucasians in the commercials the white people no offense wud not go to that fast food resturant because they are trying to go healthy and if the white people want go to the resturaunt the resturaunt wud go bankrupt or lose buissness and if they target african americans they will still have buissness because we lov food so that's wat I think.

  52. Dcfc Soprano


  53. Dcfc Soprano


  54. Renee Lord

    whatever its not racist those people who yell racist is just wanting attention and just sit back and wait for the moment when they can do it.

  55. Anonymous

    DeeJay Anwar there is no way you could draw symbolism from African Americans singing about chicken to our Jewish brothers and sisters singing about ovens. Ovens were used to cremate their flesh after they had been brutally tortured and murdered in gas chambers. How does chicken have anything to do with the death of our people? True it has been a inexpensive source of meat that many have had to rely on since our plight from the motherland but it is not the same. There is nothing racist about this AD. Funny, and some may feel tacky, but get a grip! There are more important things to be concentrating on in the community like the lack of fathers in our families and young men having to grow up guessing of what being a man is, than worrying about Mary J. singing about that "crispy chicken".

  56. Douglas Anderson

    Next thing you know white people won't be in Saltine commercials , Italians can't advertise pasta, we must protest mario and luigi from Super Mario, Irish can't advertise alcohol or potatoes.The Indian dude that owns the convenience store on The Simpson's absolutely has to go. If your going to do away with one get em all this is B.S.

  57. Terry Hooks

    You have this group over here saying " it's racist", and you have this group over here saying "it's not racist". And I'm in the middle just saying" dang I really want me a chicken wrap from BK ". :-) (really… did you see how good they look?)

  58. Anonymous

    What was so racist for singing about chicken? I can see if she had a confederate flag waving it…lol.

  59. Zena Clark

    I have to agree Brian…when I see commercials such as this one it is a bit questionable. The stereotype regardless of race no matter who eats chicken is beyond me. Growing up with relatives from the South, you do not have to be part of a specific race to eat fried chicken.

  60. Gunner Thomas


  61. Nancy Fox Cole

    Give me a break….it is a commercial about chicken not race. All you people who are crying racism really don't get it. Quit looking at the color of the people's skin…………..everybody likes fried chicken………

  62. Rachel Thomas-hubbell

    Jeana L Anderson i agree racist not at all and i'd apologize too for being an awful add. however i would like three.

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