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Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi advert has been slammed by Black Lives Matter activists for co-opting an important issue.
If you haven’t seen the terribly thought out ad, here’s a quick run through.
White supermodel Kendall Jenner is seen in a blonde wig and dark lipstick, posing it up in the middle of a demonstration. After several different races are seen with the required Pepsi can, a man walks past Kendall, giving her an encouraging smile.
This prompts the model to throw off her wig and join the ‘love and peace’ protest, making her way to the front of a crowd where a line of police are waiting. Kendall gives a can of Pepsi to one of the stony-faced officers. He takes a sip and smiles as the crowd erupts and everyone has a party.
Sound familiar? No, it doesn’t.
Pepsi has rightfully been accused of taking police brutality and turning it into a superficial statement. There have been a number of criticisms: firstly, that a white woman has acted as a peacemaker (when white people are rarely targeted by police in America) and that a fizzy drink can stop a potentially violent riot.
Secondly, the shot of Kendall Jenner standing in front of the police is almost identical to the image of Louisiana protester Leshia Evans who was arrested for obstructing a highway back in 2016.
People also aren’t happy with the choice of Kendall Jenner as the star of the advert. “So when has Kendall Jenner ever spoken out about any social justice issue? Like, ever?” one user tweeted.
Pepsi responded to the backlash with a statement reading: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony. We think that’s an important message to convey.”
Kendall Jenner has yet to make a comment on the controversy.
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