Family of Emmett Till, Sharpton, meet with PepsiCo
The fallout from Lil Wayne’s Emmett Till lyric continued on Wednesday, with Till’s family, along with Rev. Al Sharpton, meeting with PepsiCo. The company recently cut ties with Wayne in light of the controversy over his verse on the remix of Future’s “Karate Chop.” Wayne referenced Till, an African-American teenager whose brutal murder helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement, with the line “beat the p***y up like Emmett Till.”
Sharpton, president of the National Action Network and MSNBC host, accompanied the Till Family to the meeting, in which they spoke with PepsiCo to discuss the best course of action to make sure culturally insensitive moments like this one, and the recent “Mountain Dew” controversy over an Internet ad produced by Tyler the Creator, are prevented in the future.
Sharpton released the following statement after the meeting:
“The meeting today with PepsiCo representatives, the family of Emmett Till, and me at corporate headquarters was a positive meeting. PepsiCo apologized to the family again and they accepted while agreeing with me that this is a “teachable moment” and we must work with younger hip-hop artists so they know their civil rights history and become more engaged in the community. National Action Network (NAN) doesn’t want the end result to be the penalization of artists-although they clearly need to be corrected–but rather them becoming more engaged and conscientious of civil rights history. We agreed to work as partners to try and sit down with younger hip-hop artists, corporate executives, and people in the civil rights community.”
A representative from PepsiCo confirmed the meeting and echoed Sharpton’s sentiment that the Lil Wayne controversy is a “teachable moment.”