PepsiCo Inc. met with the Emmett Till family and Rev. Al Sharpton today to discuss the company’s decision to drop Lil Wayne from his Mountain Dew endorsement deal and Sharpton assures it was a positive outcome.
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy from Chicago who was beaten to death in 1955 after allegedly flirting with a white woman while visiting his family in Mississippi. Wayne boasted in his verse on Future’s “Karate Chop (Remix)” “beat that p**** up like Emmett Till,” prompting the Till family to take immediate action.
The family took to YouTube to express that they “support blocking and banning the endorsements.” Their rep added, “I’ve maintained through February, Don’t do the Dew. His biggest endorsement is through Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. Stop buying it, stop lining his pockets. People are outraged because they feel that he should apologize to our family.”
Wayne did eventually apologize and the verse was stripped from the track, but for the Till’s and PepsiCo, that wasn’t enough. After pressure from the Tills and activists, the company decided to drop Weezy from their Mountain Dew campaign.
Sharpton explained in a statement that PepsiCo executives apologized to the family Wednesday (May 8), according to the Washington Post.
The reverend also said that his National Action Network and the Till family plan to work with rappers to help them become “more engaged and conscientious of civil rights history.” With other recent campaign controversies surrounding Rick Ross and Tyler the Creator, it seems as if they could use the help.
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