UPDATE (4.5.17, 1:45pm): We called it. Pepsi has apologized and announced that is pulling their ad starring Kendall Jenner.
“Pepis was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” said Pepsi in an official statement and mea culpa. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Pepsi set the Internet on fire last night thanks to a new spot featuring Kendall Jenner who many felt was exploitive of Black Lives Matter and flippant about police brutality.
Instead of retreating, Pepsi is defending the much-maligned ad.
“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,” said Pepsi in a statement given to People.
In the full ad, which features the music of Skip Marley, Jenner leaves a photo shoot, hits up a protest, and saves the day by giving a cop a Pepsi.
The description isn’t as vapid:
A short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back. Capturing the spirit and actions of those people that jump in to every moment and featuring multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments. No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive.
While the above video sits at over 1.4M views at the time of this post, it’s garnered over 4,100 like but over 23,000 dislikes.
Considering the online backlash, the spirit it’s conveying is more akin to slander and tone-deafness. No shots.
Photo: screen cap