Singer Mary J. Blige found herself in the middle of a huge firestorm after a Burger King ad she did was leaked online back in April; the ad showed Blige singing rapturously about crispy chicken and had viewers up in arms about the negative stereotypes it seemed to endorse.
Now, she’s speaking out about it for the first time, saying the backlash “broke her heart”.
“I got this sweat and I said, real calm, ‘This too shall pass,'” she said of seeing the ad for the first time. “But it just kept getting worse and worse and worse … I went online to listen to the remix I did with Fat Joe, and all I can see is ‘Burger King’ and ‘chicken’ and ‘buffoonery.’ It just broke my heart.
Burger King quickly yanked the ad from the web, but the damage had already been done. They also issued an apology to Blige and her fans for allowing an “unfinished” video to be released.
“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.”
Blige now says that she agreed to do the commercial on the condition that it would shoot her in an iconic light and would be a great “branding opportunity” for her, and is sad that it turned out the way it did.
“I would never just bust out singing about chicken and chicken wings,” she said. “It hurt my feelings and crushed me for two days.”