April 3rd, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Mary J. Blige sings about chicken for Burger King

R&B superstar Mary J. Blige might rue the day she agreed to sing about Burger King's “crispy chicken” snack wrap with “three cheeses.”

That’s because her new commercial for the fast-food chain, which is revamping its menu, has been met with some backlash. (The commercial also appears to be missing from Burger King's YouTube channel.)

In the recently released clip, the nine-time Grammy winner can be seen sporting a short wig, leather jacket and shades, rocking to the beat of her own song, “Don’t Mind,” off her latest album “My Life II...The Journey Continues.”

But she’s altered the lyrics to reflect her pitchwoman duties, singing about “crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla.”

The media's taken notice of the 30-second spot, and so have fans. Many have taken to social media sites to express their surprise (and dismay) that someone with so much clout would agree to do such a thing - especially peddling chicken, which some say feeds into a stereotype.

But Mary’s not the only one on this celebrity gravy train: Salma Hayek, David Beckham and Jay Leno are all featured in new Burger King commercials, and Sofia Vergara and Steven Tyler are expected to do spots as well.

Burger King's Senior Vice President of North America Marketing, Alex Macedo, told AdAge that the commercials were created to grab attention to the company's menu expansion, and well, this one has, at least.

"The big challenge is how do you really grab people's attention?" Macedo said. "And most of all, how do you get them to taste the product? We chose celebrities to get people's attention faster and to show the diversity that we have with our brand."

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. sklep polski paryz

    You won the Internets for today! Thank you!

    July 8, 2012 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shadina

    Singing the National anthem at Madison Square Garden http://youtu.be/Pv40S_1PEM4

    April 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fancey Bronze

    I'm black and love chicken like most white folks. I don't understand how the ad is racist. I love Mary, but the commercial is stupid like most commercials on TV. She looks like a chicken nugget singing. If you paid me 2 million to sing in a commercial I would surely be up there breaking dancing and singing while you are sitting at home watching me on TV. LOL

    April 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pollywog22

    I agree with smoothn2U – people need to just get over this crap. She's a good singer and its good exposure for her and for BK – why not? And I'm a white woman and I love fried chicken and watermelon – so they can stuff their stereotypes too.

    April 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. upstateny

    II don't get it. A black woman sings about chicken and people claim it's sterotypical of black people. Yet they can use the N word in songs and it's okay but let someone other than an black person use it and it's racist. I'm white...I like chicken. I want to hear the song because I'm wondering what's different from singing an advertisement about chicken and how that is different than for instance KFC's advertisement. I guess I just have to hear the song and then maybe I'd understand.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Skolo

    Blacks are real morons. If I were Burger King or KFC or Popeye's I'd say "FINE, we will no longer put any black in any of our commercials. We shouldn't even hire them either.....it's too offensive."

    April 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chris honry

    What is the big deal? So certain ethnic groups like FRIED chicken and watermelon? BFD bunch of racists. A RACIST is ANYONE who sees things in terms of RACE instead of seeing things how they really are.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Amazing

    As an african american woman and a fan of MJB I do not have a problem with the content of the comercial. I have a problem that she looks whack. I thought she was over the tacky look but I guess not.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    As a chicken, I'm glad the commercial was pulled.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tatiana

    Why do we have to walk on egg shells? Everything is offensive! So commercials involving chicken can't use black people because a group of sensitive people get offended. The ones that get offended over something like this are the ones that are feeding into this stereotype. The ones that got offended probably had a bucket of chicken on their lap when this commercial came on and they felt like idiots haha

    April 5, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. J.E.

    What does Mary J say? She must not have taken offense to it, so agreed to be in the ad. I think some people need to get a life and stop over thinking EVERYTHING.

    April 5, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sun

    Oh please! Squalling about a woman of color singing about chicken is totally ignorant! So what, no black people are allowed to eat chicken, watermelon, collard greens, or any other 'slave' foods? Get real you losers.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lucy

    OMG... this is soooo ridiculous.!!!!!!!! Why do we always have to think in terms of color? She did not do anything wrong!

    April 5, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Andulamb

    I've never understood the "black people like fried chicken" stereotype. Who DOESN'T love fried chicken?

    April 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. malacha77

    Here we go again...CNN reporting a bunch of supposed 'racist' things against blacks. Trayvon, I get, but Tyler Perry screaming about getting pulled over for making an illegal turn and now CNN is saying people are upset about Mary J. Blige singing about chicken? What? Black people can't ever do ads for chicken because there's the stereotype of them eating chicken? Uh, did CNN forget that Mary J. agreed to do the damn ad in the first place?

    April 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  16. oh please

    everyone knows that if 3 white people see a black person eating chicken in the same day, that a pot of gold has to be given to each of them- so black people really dislike being seen eating chicken

    they ran out of gold a long long long time ago and only have enough left for teeth

    April 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Calcommuter

    How is a black woman being in an ad for a chicken sandwich being racist? If BK only put white males in their commercials, someone would scream racism that a person of color isnt in it!! And what about McDonalds and the McRib? If John Q Milquetoast did a commercial eating a McRib, people would laugh. Yes, we know the demographic that likes them the most!!! Get over yourselves.

    April 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  18. GAPeach

    OMG!!! Do you people have to make everything racist!!! Get over it!!!!

    April 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tyler

    Isn't it more racist to think this is racist just because it features an African American and chicken? If there is a problem with this ad, then Popeye's needs to consider pulling their ads too!

    April 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. hirolla74

    I think she got paid $4 million for them ads. She ain't crying and accusing racism!

    April 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  21. jpw2010

    Anyone who is offended by what Mary Blige did should be shot on general principle. Seriously, if you are offended by this, get a gun, walk outside and shoot yourself in the head because you are too stupid to live.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Stlchicago

    This proves there's no shortage of stupid people in the world.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  23. jaw4

    I watched the commercial after seeing this story on CNN a little while ago, saying there were complaints about racist undertones and expected to see something at least moderately offensive or racist. But all I saw was a woman singing about a chicken wrap. So what? There are no racial undertones at all. Sometimes things are exactly as you see them and nothing more, people.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  24. omg

    Here's an idea, how about BK looking for celebrities to do their new commercial and one of them is MJB.
    MJB is a grown woman, Im sure that if she felt that there was anyt hint of racism in the process, she would've said no. Regardless of how much money it involves.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  25. shirtsatzazz


    Well, speaking of Stereotypical Shirts . . . here is a fun collection for everyone. I'm a collector.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  26. A

    I love chicken, fried or otherwise. I am white. People need to quit seeing racism around every corner.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  27. @Derrick,

    Left you a review. I suggest everyone do the same.

    April 4, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  28. Derrick

    Ugggghhhhhh!!!! This is so stupid. Who cares if she's a black selling chicken for a BK. MJ is making millions for this 30 second spot. No one is complaining about the black woman in the Popeye's commercial.

    Type DerrickDuffie into your web browser to visit my website and learn about my new novel, Unfinished Business.

    April 4, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  29. Obi wan

    Whoppers are ok, better than big macs!


    April 4, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  30. maxine

    Good for Mary J, lots of people eat chicken sandwiches, not just black folk.
    and no it is not health food but if u don't overdo, it's okay to indulge.
    Quit looking to be offended when there is no cause.

    April 4, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  31. yep ^

    and you must be the caviar and Dom Perignon type .

    April 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Red Foreman

    they need to put watermelon 'n' chitlins on the menu, too. and Colt 45 to wash it down with!

    April 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redbone

      Knuckle head what decade are you living in?Colt 45 are you kidding?I'll bet you've never seen a black person take a drink of that stuff.You just keep up your Marlboro and mayonnaise sandwiches and Busch beer.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  33. speedyg18

    I don't see anything wrong with this commercial. If it's racist, it's racist against white and black people because the white dude asked for the chicken wrap.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  34. LoJenk


    April 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ravknave

    Sing it, tough girl. "Crispy chicken, mayo, lettuce..." I'm so impressed I think I stick around and wait for her to sell me on apple pies. And she knows she done stupid, so embarassed she backtracking the viewing of her commercial on the web at lightspeed.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  36. T P

    D0000000DEY milkshakes for everyone. We are out of school for Spring Break!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  37. ravknave

    Another one bites commoness, takes the commercial payout as rapstar goes the weasel.
    No guts for maintaining what you sing about=no integrity.
    Money's too powerful, too slick a take-all for perserving identiy.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Reg Jr.

      What would your broke a55 know about money?Shut your stupid mouth and learn how to sweep a Burger King floor.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  38. Demarculus

    Buncha racist oppressing us. Holding us back.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  39. lucy

    Also hilarious that UMG has blocked it in the US.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  40. lucy

    This is the most racist commercial I've ever seen. She mights as well be singing about watermelon, picking cotton, and wishing she were back in Dixie. This has set us back decades.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Ophanelia

      New York,not dixie you redneck.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • lucy

      Not even going to explain to you how stupid what you have just said is. I'll pray for you,to read a book or otherwise educate yourself.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • @ lucy

      You need prayer for judging a troll for being a troll.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MSB

      As a "black" woman, my people need to lighten up, you are seeing racism under every rock. Chill!

      April 4, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • OhReally

      I think it's racist to say African Americans are prohibited from singing about fried chicken or setting back the clock because of their skin color. Everybody loves fried chicken.

      April 4, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Set you back decades?

      It's a commercial about a crispy chicken wrap. If that's all it takes to set you back decades, then you weren't all that far forward to being with.

      April 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KB

      How is this racist? This is no different than the black woman on the Popeye's commercial selling chicken, but you don't hear anyone complaining about that!

      April 5, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • UR Crazy

      You gotta be kidden me lucy! You are ignorant.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  41. Devan

    It's not that she is promoting chicken, or anything like that it's the singing part. It's like she is a slave singing for a meal. Stop it Mary! Stop it Burger King!

    April 3, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Well that is a goofy post. : ).

      April 3, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • smoothn2u

      Get over yourself (like a slave singing for a meal that's a bunch of B$) she is doing what she does singing and getting paid to do it. I'm so sick of everyone wanting to place a label to stereotype ones efforts when it goes against their own personal agenda to create an atmosphere of alleged racism! Oh and by the way I am a Black man speaking to you on this issues that you want to placate to the masses.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • A

      Well played.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jessisa66

      SLAVE? she willfully entered into a CONTRACT for TWO MILLION DOLLARS. slave? give me a break.

      April 5, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • TIM

      You are joking right? I mean come on people it is a freaking commercial! Why is it if a white person sang the same thing it would be ok but just cause shes black she cant sing in a commercial about chicken. Is the American people getting so petty that this is news? Get a life people and stop looking for things to B!!ch about!

      April 5, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • ambi

      ....LMBO! agreed just don't get it smh

      April 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Frankie Vale

    Why should I be ashamed of eating chicken?I love it,I also love pizza,steak,ham,salmons,red snapper and watermelon,honey dew,cantaloupe,see where i'm going with this.Insecure people may not like the beautiful 'hip hop queen'doing a Burger King chicken sandwich commercial but I love it.Like Dave said,I wish I could get paid to do a chicken spot.lol

    April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  43. Kyle

    HEY ! Cartman ate all the skin off the KFC ! I' m telling !

    April 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  44. JAMAL

    That's soul food anyone can enjoy. They should also sell watermelon, that would be ideal. But then again KFC should be doing the same!

    April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Elmo 2

      I love watermelon. It's a little messy to eat but is a fun summertime treat ! : ). My grandma always made us eat it outside on the pic-nic table. Too many flies and bees when ya do that.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  45. Dave

    She is a hero. Chicken is healthy and good. I wish someone would pay me to do something like that.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Elmo 2

      Chicken is ok but it isnt up there with bacon. People need to sing about the magical wonders and delicious goodness of bacon. It is natures miracle food.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Keep it real

      Fried chicken is healthy?

      April 4, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  46. ?

    *grabs popcorn, and helmet*

    April 3, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Don't black people like chicken? Burger King was just trying to appeal to the people that would buy it the most.

      April 5, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |

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