November 5, 2014
IRAC: 2011 Pepsi Commercial
Issue: Does this commercial accurately depict the relationships between African-American men and women or is this commercial merely comedy; and thus, what if any impact does this commercial have on the business world and/or the images of African-Americans? What, if any, legal action can be taken successfully, and if no legal action can be successfully taken, what can be done if you believe that there is a harm caused by this commercial to which there is no legal recourse?
(1) Television commercials are tools that an entity/company uses to sell products, advocate positions and display images for the purpose of making money;
(2) For a party to bring forth a successful legal action against another party, the suing party must demonstrate that they sustained some type of harm that is recoverable in a court of law.
Analysis: My analysis of the commercial is that the commercial does not accurately depict the relationships between African American men and women. However, the commercial does depict the opinions of other races about African Americans and the commercial displays how black people, women in particular, are perceived. The “Angry Black Woman” is a pervasive stereotype that has been formed against black women in America. The “angry black woman” is a woman of color who is always angry or irate and/or berates black men with cruel words and exaggerated body language. Also, white people fear and look down upon the “angry black woman”. This depiction can be dated back to the historical character Sapphire Stevens. In the commercial, the female is clearly displayed as an “angry black woman”. She is controlling, behaves over-the-top and exaggerated, is angry, and is castigating the black man. The purpose of the commercial was to market and promote a new Pepsi product that had zero calories. When you watch the video or even reflect on it a controlling woman is what comes to mind instead of the soda. Throughout the video, the woman is snatching things out of the man’s hands and physically abusing him by kicking him under the table and smashing his head into pie. These irate and inappropriate behaviors to get her point across about eating more healthy clearly displays the “angry black woman”. Even after the man succumbs to the woman’s requests, she behaves inappropriately and ends up injuring another woman. The fact that the woman is white also plays on racial issues