Pepsi is under fire for a new ad starring Kendall Jenner as a model who leaves her day job to join a resistance protest only to offer a soda to a hot cop.
The commercial immediately rubbed many people the wrong way, with critics saying that Pepsi co-opted protests as a fun, trendy activity, instead of something people participate in to draw attention to social and political issues that, for some, are matters of live-or-death importance.
The ad may have been inspired by an iconic photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans being arrested in front of police line in Baton Rouge, according to BI:
— Jaya Saxena (@jayasax) April 4, 2017
Reactions have not been muted:
If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would've gotten arrested. Who knew?
— deray mckesson (@deray) April 5, 2017
The Kendall Jenner Pepsi fiasco is a perfect example of what happens when there's no black people in the room when decisions are being made.
— Travon Free (@Travon) April 4, 2017
can't believe Kendall Jenner just solved institutionalized racism and oppression by giving a cop a pepsi. Groundbreaking
— kels (@Kelsiekinss) April 4, 2017
I'm actually disgusted right now. What kind of privilege must you have to think handing a Pepsi over is something groundbreaking?
— blair waldorf. 🗣 (@wydaubri) April 4, 2017
So all us dark people have to do is convince a cop that the Pepsi we're holding isn't a gun.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) April 4, 2017
EVERYONE: well at least 2017 can't possibly get any more tone-deaf
AD EXEC: hold my pepsi pic.twitter.com/RYh4bIVKNM
— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) April 4, 2017
Pepsi’s statement on the matter: “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.”