Apple kicked Idris Elba out of its iPhone 14 ad

iPhone 14 colors
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has tweaked an iPhone 14 ad because some people misheard what Idris Elba was singing.

Apple used Elba's song called Biggest, with the problematic line being "Biggest, biggest, biggest, biggest, biggest, it's the biggest bounce of the summer." When played at full speed, some people didn't hear "biggest," but heard a racial slur instead.

Now, there are no words at all, and Elba's voice is nowhere to be seen — or heard.

The updated ad is embedded above and removes Idris's voice entirely, leaving just the music playing. But the original did have all of the lyrics, which were clearly supposed to point to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus launches being the biggest of the season — not to mention the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus being the biggest non-Pro iPhone to date.

One YouTube video, embedded below, shows how things have changed with the two ads playing one after the other.

It's fair to say that what might otherwise have been one of Apple's best iPhone ads is sorely lacking without the lyrics, but it's easy to see why Apple would make the change if, as 9to5Mac points out, people hear a different word when listening to the song.

Apple often uses music with lyrics to promote its products, not just iPhones. Moreover, those lyrics can sometimes tell a story related to the product in question, as was the original plan with this particular iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus ad.

Regardless, the original ad was shared a couple of months ago, and it seems to have taken this long for the change to be made. It isn't clear what caused Apple to make the change now, although it seems likely that customer feedback was behind the move.

However, Apple continues to credit Elba for the song in the YouTube video's description.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.