UPDATE: Pepsi has reportedly issued an apology and announced that they’re pulling the controversial commercial from the airwaves after it received major backlash. “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement, according to The Daily Beast. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Original story below
Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi ad has received major backlash from people accusing it of exploiting the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the two-and-a-half minute commercial the model, 21, ends a multi-racial protest by simply handing a police officer a can of Pepsi.
But the ad that was revealed on Tuesday, April 4, hasn’t been well received, and Twitter has been flooded with comments both berating and mocking Pepsi and Jenner.
“I can’t believe Kendall Jenner ended police brutality and white supremacy with a can of Pepsi,” wrote one user. “Not bad for a girl with no talent.”
That Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial was beyond terrible
— Nino (@CantMissJames) April 4, 2017
Another wrote: “What a disrespectful ad. People are being arrested and dying fighting for justice. You solve it with Pepsi. Heinous.”
Others branded it “tone deaf,” “cingeworthy,” and “offensive.”
Kendall Jenner is in a place financially and publicly where she could have easily said no to this #PEPSI promo. It’s all disgusting
— ChampagneXChanel (@chanelXchampgne) April 5, 2017
So we should just give Putin & Assad & Trump a can of Pepsi & everything will be fine?
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 4, 2017
Wow, how tone deaf is that new Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad?? For someone with two mamas I’d expect her to know better…
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) April 4, 2017
The imagery of Jenner handing the cop the can was immediately compared to the moment when real-life protester Leshia Evans faced down a line of riot police during a Black Lives Matter demonstration, before being arrested.
the new @Pepsi ad evoking imagery of @IeshiaEvans in Baton Rouge is total exploitative brand social activism bs ?? pic.twitter.com/YzAFtWEzDO
— Sherry (@slchen_) April 4, 2017
Pepsi issued a statement to Adweek on April 4 defending their ad: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”
Jenner has yet to comment on the controversy but before the ad was released she said she was thrilled to be working with the company as part of their new “Live for Now” campaign.
“The spirit of Pepsi — living in the ‘now’ moment — is one that I believe in,” Jenner said of her new collaboration in a statement. “I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today.”
Check out the full commercial above.
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