By Megan Flemmit, Photography courtesy of Pepsi Youtube Channel
Rarely has the internet been this united.
The Kardashian/Jenner clan are used to being surrounded by controversy. But the recent ad by Pepsi featuring Kendall Jenner has sparked widespread criticism and outrage for trivialising social justice protests.
In the ad, Jenner ditches a photo shoot after seeing a protest passing her on the street. After joining the protest, Jenner walks up to a police officer, handing him a can of Pepsi. Her fellow protestors cheer when the police officer takes a sip.
The ad faced instant backlash across the globe for its portrayal of the relationship between police and protestors. Many felt the ad was tone-deaf and didn’t encapsulate the police brutality protestors face.
Kendall Jenner gives a Pepsi to a cop and rids the world of -isms. Y’all can go somewhere with this tone-deaf, shallow and over-produced ad. pic.twitter.com/CEr4cAw3Ld
— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) April 4, 2017
People are applauding Kendall Jenner for being in that Pepsi ad. The same ad that casually uses a resistance movement to promote their brand
— Mali 🇭🇳 (@_afrolatina) April 4, 2017
That Pepsi ad is truly awful… I’m actually mad at how disrespectful & opportunistic that disgrace is pic.twitter.com/5mZz0CojBB
— Bhut’Khawenze Kaloku (@Sundiata_X) April 4, 2017
Pepsi was also accused of of appropriating the image of Ieshia Evans at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge. But while Evans was detained by police in riot gear, Jenner was not.
— BD_PR (@Brittany_AD) April 5, 2017
Pepsi initially refused to apologise for the advert saying, “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.” However, after a day of intense criticism, with many threatening to boycott the brand, the ad was finally pulled.
The brand apologised in a statement, saying ,”Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” the statement read. “We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
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