Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Brad Bellflower, “Silicon Valley Maverick,” a character created for the Apartments.com commercials. Jeff is joined by a gospel choir singing the theme song from The Jeffersons. “Movin’ On Up” is invoked in a literal sense by Jeff sitting at a piano that is being hoisted up the side of an apartment building, giving him the opportunity to peer into all of the windows along the way. Because that’s not creepy at all! Fun fact: Jeff Goldblum is actually a skilled pianist and regularly performs improvisational jazz shows in Los Angeles.
Jeff reaches an apartment with Lil Wayne and George Washington on the outside patio. He stops and says, “Wait a minute, is that George and Weezy?” For the younger generation, he’s merely using one of Lil Wayne’s popular nicknames. Slightly older folks will get the reference to George Jefferson and his wife Louise aka “Weezie” from the 1975-1985 show The Jeffersons. Lil Wayne is grilling burgers and George is wearing a grill on his teeth. That may be a reference that slips past some older folks.
In either case, one reference that many people are making is that Lil Wayne is “serving” George Washington, who was a known slave owner in his day. To many critics of the ad, this imagery, along with Lil Wayne’s bucket hat, smacks of racism. A source close to Lil Wayne responded to the criticisms telling TMZ that the commercial is “meant to be funny and silly and not the least bit offensive” and that “people need to calm down.”
George Washington tells Jeff that Weezy is also grilling beans. This sends Jeff and the gospel chorus back into the Jeffersons theme song for the line “beans don’t burn on the grill.” It all wraps up with Weezy turning around holding his “signature apple pie.” So everyone “finally got a piece of the pie.” To end the commercial, Apartments.com adds the jokey disclaimer to the bottom of the screen, “Pie not included.”
There are some who didn’t feel the commercial was racist, but still didn’t like it.
The first two teasers that Apartments.com released ahead of the Big Game commercial made no references to The Jeffersons. Jeff Goldblum also did not make an appearance in the teasers.
The teaser below makes a joke about George Washington trading in his wooden teeth for a gold grill. As in many Super Bowl commercials, we accept a scenario that would otherwise be completely ridiculous. Such as, one of the long-dead Founding Fathers in full Revolutionary War garb hanging out with Lil Wayne.
The final teaser that was uploaded before the full commercial hints at the Jeffersons references to come. Lil Wayne and George Washington are standing at the grill, but Weezy actually asks George to cook up some beans for him.
Did you feel that the Apartments.com Super Bowl Commercial was racist? Vote below.