A Super Bowl ad featuring rapper Lil Wayne cooking food for an actor portraying former president and founding father George Washington is being criticized as racist.
The minute-long ad for Apartments.com features actor Jeff Goldblum and a gospel choir performing the theme song “Movin’ on Up” from the hit 1970s sitcom The Jeffersons. Sitting at a piano, Goldblum is lifted to the top of an apartment high rise building by a crane.
But when he reaches the top, instead of George and “Weezy” Jefferson, Goldblum finds George Washington and Lil Wayne grilling food for an apparent Super Bowl watch party.
Watch the ad below:
According to TMZ, a number of people have taken issue with the black rapper being shown cooking for the first president, who was a slave owner.
Hip-Hop Wired writes:
The Super Bowl falling during Black History Month is an interesting coincidence. Keeping that in mind, Weezy basically looks like an upgraded field slave in his bucket hat standing with Washington— the forefather of America who even on his deathbed, was so hopelessly devoted to slavery that he refused to free a longtime slave that attempted escape more than once.
The ad also created a firestorm in the comments section on the TMZ story, where one commenter wrote, “Right now, Lil Kim is putting on an Aunt Jemimah scarf and offering to go behind the woodshed with an actor portraying Thomas Jefferson in order to pull a SB ad.”
Another reader added: “George Washington was a murderer and a slaver, but of course to white people he is a hero.”
A source close to the rapper told TMZ the commercial is “meant to be funny and silly and not the least bit offensive.”
“People need to calm down,” said the source.
According to Entertainment Weekly, which shared the ad before the controversy, the #MovinOnUp campaign intends to inform Americans that more people than ever are renting homes and apartments, as opposed to buying.