July 05, 2012
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
Months after Mary J. Blige received backlash for her appearance in a Burger King commercial advertising a chicken wrap, the singer recently opened up about the debacle and called the ad “a mistake.”
In an interview with New York radio station Hot 97, Blige candidly discussed her decision to appear in the commercial and described her feelings once it became a target for criticism.
“I wanted to crawl under the bed,” Blige said on the show. “It was a mistake, but I did it because I thought it was something that wouldn’t come out like that. It was sold to us that I would be shot in an iconic way. I was looking for someone to have mercy, but no one had mercy. It was a learning experience. It hurt my feelings. It crushed me for like two days. But [after that], I got up and kept going.”
The ad, which surfaced online in April, featured Blige singing the ingredients of Burger King’s new chicken wrap sandwich. The video quickly went viral and drew tremendous criticism from many who believed it stereotyped Blacks.
In the midst of the incident, Blige said in a statement that she understood why fans were upset and said the ad was unfinished, according to Billboard magazine. But other than that brief statement, she remained tightlipped on the matter.
“I just felt like there was no need for me to say anything, because everyone was crucifying me and going crazy,” Blige told the radio station. “So I just pulled back and watched everyone and everything. It’s just something that I thought would have been great for my brand.”
Shortly after its release, Burger King pulled the commercial, citing licensing concerns as the cause for its removal. The company also apologized to Blige in a statement, according to Billboard.
“Unfortunately, the Mary J. Blige commercial was released prematurely before all of the licensing and final approvals were obtained. We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final. We know how important Mary J. is to her fans,”” the statement read.
Blige’s ad was part of the restaurant’s media push to advertise its new menu items. Other celebrities such as Jay Leno, Salma Hayak and David Beckham also appeared in the series of commercials.