Mary J. Blige appeared in a new Burger King ad this week in promotion of the brand’s new Crispy Chicken Wrap, but the immediate backlash spurred BK to pull the ad from their YouTube channel. They later followed up by claiming the ad was temporarily pulled for music licensing issues, but Mary J. Blige has finally spoken out about the controversy saying the commercial that aired was not what she agreed to.
According to a statement Blige issued to TMZ, the final version of the commercial — in which Blige appears standing on top of a table belting out the ingredients of the fast-food chain’s new Crispy Chicken Wrap to the soundtrack of her single “Don’t Mind” — was not what the singer thought she signed up for.
“I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that’s not what was happening in that clip,” Blige told the website. “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 go out.”
The ad received harsh criticism from fans, particularly those in the black community who complained that the content promoted a negative stereotype. Burger King immediately pulled the ad from its YouTube channel, but claimed it did so because of music-licensing issues. The company said it hopes to have the “ads back on the air soon,” though they did not specify if the ads would be the same or if they would edit a new version.
Rumors have surfaced that Blige received $2 million for the ad — and she’s not the only one. Other celebrities promoting the burger chain’s new menu include soccer star David Beckham, actress Salma Hayek and late-night host Jay Leno.