There’s a saying that posits that “all publicity is good publicity,” meaning that even negative attention benefits the recipient of the attention in some way. That may or may not be true, but it’s certainly a belief that Chance The Rapper seems to hold when it comes to all the questionable ads that have caused social media backlash of late.
“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views,” he opined via Twitter Sunday. “And that shit racist/bogus so I guess I shouldn’t help by posting about it. But ? I gotta just say tho.”
He uses a recent example of an ad that could be interpreted as having a double meaning, with just enough leeway for plausible deniability. “The ‘sometimes lighter is better’ Heineken commercial is terribly racist omg.” He also provided a link to the potentially offending advertisement, which depicts a bartender sliding the product in question past a number of Black patrons at the bar to land at the hands of a pretty, but racially-ambiguous woman.
While the ad could be interpreted in a couple of ways, Chance did try to leaven any potential response by pointing out, “Im not saying boycott them or go off, I’m just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers and shit. Like I didnt wanna tweet about it so bad ?? but it’s like how can u not?”
In January, clothing company H&M came under fire from social media for a photo on the company’s web store that depicted a young Black boy wearing a hoodie reading “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” After everyone from LeBron James to Diddy weighed in, the company pulled the product.