Dear Messrs Sainsburys and Tescos
How lovely that you stock the Black Energy drink promoted by Mike Tyson. I’d like to enter for the “pointing out the obvious massive problems with this” prize. I realise that most people will have got 1) using a convicted rapist to promote anything at all, quite frankly, but I reckon I’ve probably got some others.
This is mostly due to the advert, in which Tyson, sitting at a piano in a white suit, surrounded by thin white giggling women also (scantily, natch) dressed in white, sings “I may be a beast / can’t control myself / but what you should fear / is my body, yeah. / They say that I’m rough / unpredictable and stuff / but this can has more guts / take a sip and go nuts.” He then takes a sip of the Black Energy, hits the piano away from him in one fell swoop, and remarks “That’s how Black works” and does a weird little jig, presumably indicating how nuts he’s going. The girls all simper round him. The slogan BLACK Power! flashes at the bottom of the screen.
I make this
1) Misogyny: using a convicted rapist to advertise a product
2) Appropriation: of the “Black Power” slogan to advertise a sports drink
3) Racism: The name of the drink, Black Energy, plays on the old “black men are athletic” trope
4) Misogyny #2: Lyrics which clearly reference rape
5) Misogyny #3: An advert which connects a rapist, singing about rape, to sexual success
6) Misogyny #4 & Racism #2: The sexually desirable women surrounding him are all thin and white and giggling
7) Misogyny #5: The slogan on the cans of Black Energy reads “As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want,” with Tyson’s signature underneath. Coming from Martin Luther King that would be commendable. Coming from Mike Tyson, convicted rapist, that is creepy.
Honestly, this makes the Christmas season “mums do Christmas” adverts look like Germaine Greer at Speakers Corner. What in the name of Ctulhu do you think you’re doing selling it? Or do casual racism, misogyny and appropriation just not ring any alarm bells with your purchasing teams?
I look forward to my prize. Or at the very least, a response.