Theraflu is refusing to swallow the fact that Kanye West has named his new, controversial (thanks to Kim Kardashian) single after the cold remedy. According to TMZ, a rep for Theraflu said, “We in no way endorse or approve of the references or use of the image and likeness of Theraflu in this manner.” But why exactly is the brand so against West?
Look, we know West is, well, kind of an a**hole. (I only use the word because he even uses it to describe himself in his song “Last Call.”) Just watch any awards show: In 2007, he went on a rampage about not taking home a VMA. In 2006, he crashed the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and again in 2009 when he infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMAs. acceptance speech. In 2004, he left the American Music Awards when he lost to Gretchen Wilson for “Best New Artist.” And then there’s his problem with the paps — in 2008, he found himself booked after a fight with a photographer. So, yes, there’s no doubt West is an a**hole. But what makes his treatment of Theraflu in his new song so offensive?
Looking at the tune itself, West simply uses the product as a metaphor. What does Therflu do? It helps people battle off symptoms of the cold or flu. What do Kanye’s lyrics do? Tell those who can’t act accordingly in society to clean up their acts. Yes, the song may be directed at Kris Humphries’ attempts to sour his soon-to-be ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s reputation — but Kanye is just using his music to stand up for what he believes in… his current love interest, Kardashian.
West is certainly a more desirable pitchman than some other musicians — like, for example, Lil Wayne, who has served jail time for drug possession, was arrested for gun possession, and name-dropped Theraflu in “Sweet Dreams.” The company, however, never publicly shunned the rapper, despite the fact that “Sweet Dreams” includes more than a few lyrics too vulgar for this family website. So what gives, Theraflu? Why are you sickened by West? My advice: Take “Theraflu” for what it is: A nice dose of free publicity.