Backlash Over Kendall Jenner's Protest-Themed Pepsi Ad
An online backlash started yesterday (April 4th) almost immediately after a new protest-themed Pepsi ad was released starring model and Kardashian family member Kendall Jenner.
In the spot, part of Pepsi's "Live for Now" Moments campaign, Jenner is seen on a photo shoot while protesters holding up generic signs of things like the peace symbol march by. Jenner goes to join them, pulling off the blonde wig she's wearing and smearing her lipstick. After scenes of Jenner walking with the marchers, she hands a can of Pepsi to a policeman in a line of officers as they go by, and everyone cheers. The officer drinks the soda and smiles as a happy Jenner continues on.
Among the online criticism was that the ad was tone deaf, that it was appropriation of the current atmosphere of protest and the Black Lives Matter movement, and that it evoked a photo that went viral last year of a woman standing in front of a line of police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge.
However, Pepsi is defending the ad, saying in a statement released last night, "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."
Here's the protest image some are accusing Jenner and Pepsi's ad of ripping off. This picture seems a lot more aggressive to me. Probably better suited for a Mt. Dew Kickstart commercial.