So you remember that controversial Burger King commerical with Mary J. Blige? You know the one for which she got paid $2 million to sing about chicken wraps? The one that got people all upset, calling her a sellout, with many being bitterly disappointed with how she could have stooped so low (I still remember one commenter saying she sounded like “an old slave”). And just in case you’ve forgotten the commercial, it’s posted below.
Well, Ms.Blige wants you to know that she’s not happy about it either, and, in an interview today on radio station Hot 97 in New York, she spoke out for the first time, telling her side of the story and letting us know what the hell she was she thinking.
According to her, the commercial wasn’t supposed to turn out that way, and she apologized to her many fans: “I want to apologize to everyone who was offended or thought that I would do something so disrespectful to our culture. I would never do anything like that purposefully. I thought I was doing something right, so forgive me.”
As she said in the interview, she was shocked and “my heart dropped down to my stomach,” when she first saw the ad.
But it got even worse, adding, “I got this sweat and I said real calm, ‘This too shall pass’. But it kept getting worse and worse and worse…and all I can see is ‘Burger King’ and ‘chicken’ and ‘buffoonery’. It just broke my heart.“
And still further: “I would never just bust out singing about chicken and chicken wings. It hurt my feelings and crushed me for two days.“
In the interview, she explained that the reason why she stayed silent for so long was because: “There was too much going on for me to stick my head out there and say anything. So I just pulled back and watched everyone and everything.“
Now as for what exactly went wrong, she explained that she was originally convinced on the idea that the commercial “would be shot in an ironic way.” What she meant by that, she didn’t explain. But she added that she also saw the ad as a “great branding opportunity.“
In the end, she said that “it was a mistake when you look at it at the end of the day, because people look at it as a mistake. But I did it because I thought that it was something that wouldn’t come out like that.“
She didn’t say though if she was going to return the $2 million.