Yesterday, Pepsi released an advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner as the “woke” model who “united” two sides of a protest with just a flip of a wig and a crack of a soda can. The ad’s climax sees Jenner strut to the front line of protest, hand over a can of Pepsi to an officer and set off roaring approval from protesters and police alike.
Immediately after, social media (most notably Twitter) condemned the ad for trivializing protest movements and appropriating powerful imagery of past riots against police brutality — all for the sake of profit.
The torrid public criticism caused Pepsi to pull the ad completely and issue the following statement:
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”
Here are some Twitter responses, which includes one from Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, on the matter:
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
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
“STOP GUYS! I have a Pepsi multi pack in my car!!” pic.twitter.com/0BamCseHUo
— Ojuelepogba (@Chenyboi) April 5, 2017
If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would’ve gotten arrested. Who knew?
— deray mckesson (@deray) April 5, 2017
“Hold on hold on, she’s coming over with the Pepsi and you’ll see that this is just one big misunderstanding” pic.twitter.com/NHe29hyrWw
— Agony Wofa (@ProfessorKumi) April 5, 2017
The worst part of the Pepsi commercial is when Kendall decides to protest racism by making a black woman hold her wig. pic.twitter.com/NEfSwXqJvm
— Sean Kent (@seankent) April 5, 2017
- Image Credit