April 4th, 2012
09:34 PM ET
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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