BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A host of controversial new street posters have popped up in Brooklyn, featuring the logo of the MTV Video Music Awards beneath a mashup of racy Kanye West lyrics and drawings of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.
The hand-drawn-style posters, which feature the MTV Video Music Awards logo next to a hash tag, "#VMA," include drawings of two men, labeled "Trayvon" and "Zimmerman," interspersed with paraphrased lyrics from Kanye West's "New Slaves" — "He'd rather be a d-ck than a swallower."
Zimmerman was recently acquitted on all charges after fatally shooting the 17-year-old from Florida during a civilian patrol of his neighborhood. The case became a lightning rod around the country, in what critics say shows a continued hostility under the law toward young black men.
MTV did not return a request for comment from DNAinfo New York, but denied responsibility in a Twitter response to the Al Jazeera America reporter.
"[T]hanks for making us aware of this. That is not an MTV ad," the tweet read.
MTV's annual awards ceremony takes place this weekend at the Barclays Center, bringing it to the borough for the first time.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the posters.
Representatives for West did not immediately return a request for comment.
Reactions to the poster on Wednesday were mixed, with some people offended by the image, and others plain confused.
"Who are they talking about, Zimmerman or Trayvon?" asked Bed-Stuy resident Wanda Slaughter, 52. "I don't see why they put it together with that."
Nineteen-year-old Lauren Jerrick, from Crown Heights, thought the image was inappropriate.
"It's offensive," Jerrick said. "I think they should take it down."
"It's kind of weird," said Bed-Stuy resident Eddie Catlin, 34, who stopped to snap a photo. "They have it where kids can read it and stuff."