April 4th, 2012
09:34 PM ET

Mary J. Blige on pulled Burger King ad: It wasn't finished

R&B superstar Mary J. Blige says a recently pulled Burger King advertisement that featured her was “unfinished” and didn’t follow the parameters to which she’d agreed.

The clip, which Burger King released on YouTube before taking it down this week amid a public backlash, is part of a series of celebrity ads showcasing the fast-food chain’s new menu options.

In Blige’s spot, the nine-time Grammy winner promotes the new Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps. Wearing a short wig, leather jacket and shades, she rocks to the beat of her own song, “Don’t Mind,” off her latest album, “My Life II… The Journey Continues.”

She sings altered lyrics, about “crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla.” People complained about the ad on social media sites, with some saying that her peddling of chicken played into racial stereotypes.

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, Blige said the ad wasn’t what she thought it was going to be, but she did not address the issue of stereotypes.

“I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence,” Blige said. “Unfortunately, that's not what was happening in that clip, so I understand my fans being upset by what they saw.

“But, if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw to go out.”

Burger King also said that the ad “was not final,” and that it planned to release a finalized version.

“Unfortunately, the Mary J. Blige commercial was released prematurely before all of the licensing and final approvals were obtained,” Burger King said in a statement released to CNN. “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, and we are currently in the process of finalizing the commercial. We hope to have the final ad on the air soon.”

The statement didn’t elaborate on the licensing issues.

In the 30-second ad, a customer at a Burger King counter asks, “What’s in the new chicken snack wraps?” before Blige answers in song.

Salma Hayek, David Beckham and Jay Leno appear in separate commercials spotlighting other new menu items, including fruit smoothies, salads and chicken strips. Steven Tyler and Sofia Vergara also are due to appear in Burger King commercials, the chain said.


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soundoff (33 Responses)
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    April 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pjc722

    This is a bad commercial. REALLY BAD.

    April 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BB (California Bay Area)

    Watching cnn newsroom. The guy just said everyone loves Mary J. Blige. WRONG! She is a fur hag and now she's a chicken and fur hag! Plus she looks so stupid in that commercial – all she needs is a chicken costume.

    April 8, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
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    April 7, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    I find this laughable. whether this is racist or not, it does not matter. What does matter is this, a celebrity sells their race, ethics, beliefs, rights etc. for money. Anyone would because everyone has a price, Mary J Blige, MC Hammer or any other celebrity that makes commercials that " betrays themselves as a stereotypical portrayal of that race " Any person that truly fels that filming such a commercial would " betray " their race would not do it. Mary J Blige gave up that right. I think Burger King should have made her say I love fried chicken. Frankly I think she has more talent then that and sold her principles for 2 million dollars. Any black person touting their views that it is racist and Burger King is portraying blacks incorrectly, would jump at the chance to film the exact same commercial for 2 million dollars. Most likely for less, as anyone who is truly offended and claims impropreity has a price. I believe all those proponents of black rights should shut up because for 2 million dollars they would make a fried chicken commercial, and eat watermelon. Conversely a white celebrity would do the same for a KD commercial. All the celebrities and public figures just want to get on the news or be recognized as having a higher sense of consciousness, makes me laugh as Rev. Al Sharpton would have done a duet with Mary J Blige.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. LoJenk

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Ol-OTLl1s&w=640&h=390]

    April 5, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. bigkev83

    I am so sick of the race card being pulled all the time ... white ppl dont care about what black ppl do... and the only problem with race in this country is that the only ppl wanting to cry about it is blacks... gets old fast!!!

    April 5, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. mike

    Absolutely not Nate I love me some KFC and saltines too...don't sleep on saltines.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jacob Liebowitz

    No. That is my kafeltafish and matzah balls. What will I nosh on?

    April 5, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    Oh and to further add hereis a news flash us white people love chicken too and if I could sing and could collect a check singing about a dumb chicken sandwich I would.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Well you whites just need to stop eating our KFC. It is ours and y'all can just go eat saltines and kafeltafish.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    Everything is racist now a days. Give me a break.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. alicia

    Really are we so shallow as to crticize MaryJ beacause of a BK chicken snack wrap!!!???? No one was made at Luther when he sang for Kentucky Fried Chicken aka KFC.......Are we soo black that we are BLIND!!!!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark IV

      If you're white you don't have a clue nor do you give a sh!t about me,so don't tell me what I like to eat i'll bet none of you have ever seen a black person eat watermelon and I know none of you have never seen any of us eat chitterlings so mind your business.I love all Tyson pre cooked chicken just like the whites,Asians,Hispanics and a lot of others.I don't care what Mary J.sings about she talented as h*ll,make your paper baby.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  16. Beautiful Vixen

    Evel honey you got caught.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
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    We gonna have chiiiiicken strips at The Orange Crush 2K12 Festival. Click on my name "Tyree" for more details.

    April 5, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  18. JellyBean

    Jeeze, people are so ridiculously sensitive these days.

    April 5, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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    I don't know if this will work peeps, but try clicking on my name for our African American Spring Break paaaarty. It be Orange Crush 2K12. caltweet.com/1kjf

    April 5, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  21. Alecia

    I like me chitlin and grit. Once I caught an 18 pound grit in one of my traps. Fried it up whole and had it for breakfast the next day.

    April 5, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  22. Black Foreman

    I loves me some fried chicken! can I have a watermelon smoothie & some chitlins to go with it?

    April 5, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
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    @mary j what parameter did u wish its folow?

    April 5, 2012 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  24. Becca

    Some people are TOO sensitive, Doesnt everyone love fried chicken? geez.... Im German and wouldnt think its offensive if HEIDI KLUM was" " yodelling" about how yummy BRATS, BEER AND PRETZELS are ! Mary j. BLIDGE is a classy Lady and would not agree to partake in an ad that may offend others.

    April 5, 2012 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
    • XXYYZZ

      My thoughts also. The African American community has more serious concerns than something like this and trivializes itself by complaining about. inconsequential things that would better be ignored.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  25. scorpioman

    Well I heard that some folks think that she is stereotyping black people.

    Can't be true. Everybody knows that black people don't eat fried chicken. :>)

    April 5, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  26. The Cajun Samurai

    I just had the Chicken Snack Wrap today. Tasted just as wack as the commercial is.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  27. Evel Knievel

    I heard she's going to make an ad for watermelon instead.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  28. Ted

    I don't eat alot of fast food. I didn't know burger king had smooties. Sounds good, how late they open, anyone know?

    April 4, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |

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