Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Miller Apologizes to Black Community for Rock 'N' Roll Promotion

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Miller Apologizes to Black Community for Rock 'N' Roll Promotion

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE

Miller Brewing came under fire recently for its promotion commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll. The promotion, which features Rolling Stone cover shots of Elvis Presley, Blondie and others on beer cans, had been criticized for its lack of diversity.

The brewer has since apologized to the Black community for failing to include any Black artists on its series of commemorative rock 'n' roll cans. "African Americans obviously have played a formative role in the development of rock 'n' roll, and despite our efforts, we did not manage this component of the promotion appropriately," the company said in a statement.

"We took a hard look at the situation and realize where we fell short. You can count on Miller to step up," Virgis Colbert, Miller's executive vice president of worldwide operations, said in the statement.

The brewer noted that the commemorative cans were part of a larger campaign with Rolling Stone that includes events and promotions "that prominently and proudly feature African-American music artists."

Miller said its two-day concert, the culmination of the promotion, will feature James Brown, Bo Didley, Wyclef Jean and Lenny Kravitz, who are all Black. The names of the artists for the Sept. 17 and 18 New York City performances had not previously been disclosed.

The company also cited:

* A free guide to summer music events that included several Black artists;

* A digital music giveaway, in partnership with Napster, including a component called "The Summer of Non Stop Hip Hop. …

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