Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) has called off a proposed boycott of PepsiCo. The action was canceled after the music mogul's organization, the soft drink manufacturer, and the L
Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) has called off a proposed boycott of PepsiCo. The action was canceled after the music mogul's organization, the soft drink manufacturer, and the Ludacris Foundation reached an agreement yesterday (Feb. 11) that will see Pepsi donate "millions" of dollars to U.S. youth programs.
As previously reported, last year Pepsi pulled a commercial featuring Ludacris after conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly expressed outrage over the rapper's expletive-ridden lyrics. After months of fruitless negotiations with the company, last week the HSAN announced it would launch its "Campaign for Respect" today. This follows accusations that Pepsi applied a double standard by yanking the Ludacris spot but then featuring notoriously foul-mouthed members of heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne's family in a new Pepsi Twist commercial.
"We've come to an agreement where the common ground is young people," Pepsi said in a statement. "We're working together on a multi-year, multi-city effort that will encourage kids to express their creativity in the visual and performing arts."
"This agreement with Pepsi will help us help others," added Roberta Fields, Ludacris' mother and chair of the Ludacris Foundation. "We are committed to the empowerment of youth through helping youth help themselves."
HSAN president Dr. Benjamin Chavis said that the organization will closely monitor the multi-million dollar agreement to fund grassroots, nonprofit organizations serving the needs of disadvantaged youth. "The agreement is a victory because it shows that the respect of hip-hop culture must be taken seriously, and the generation of youth today are taking leadership responsibly," he said.
The HSAN demands were a public apology to Ludacris and the hip-hop community, a $5 million charitable contribution to the Ludacris Foundation, and reinstating the Ludacris Pepsi television commercial. It is unknown if an apology is forthcoming, if the commercial will again be aired, or what the exact financial terms of the deal are. Other details of the agreement will be released at a later date, according to the statement.