Dec. 11, 2010 - Food manufacturer Duncan Hines has found itself in some hot water with a promo for their microwaveable Amazing Glazes. The ad in question was called ‘Hip-Hop Cupcakes’ and features a set of vanilla cupcakes that get topped with a chocolate glaze and then morph into cartoon characters that clearly resemble racist minstrel imagery. The Source was the first hip-hop related publication to call the ads out for their questionable material. A blogger under the moniker Kazeem zeroed in on why the spot is so offensive.
“The racial component can’t be overlooked,” he writes. “It doesn’t matter that they’re cupcakes; the fact that they start rapping isn’t too far a stretch from making them in blackface. If the icing was in different flavors, or the lips weren’t so big and pink maybe we could give the ad a pass, but as it stands it’s a pretty poorly constructed and potentially racist ad. I’m the last person to be overly sensitive to media images, but the frothy mix of chocolate skinned cupcakes, bad hip-hop and a long media history of depicting stereotypical black people to sell food give me reason to question the intent if not the effect of this ad.”
After online debating continued, the company felt it was best to pull the ad altogether.
Duncan Hines 'Hip Hop Cupcakes'