The advert shows the model and reality star handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer supervising a protest.
Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi advert has been branded “tone deaf” and accused of co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement for profit.
The model and reality star, whose half-sister Kim Kardashian is married to Kanye West, shared the advert on Twitter last night (April 4). It shows her finishing a photo shoot before handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer who is supervising a protest, seemingly as a goodwill gesture. Jenner, known for her appearances of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, then joins the protest herself.
Color of Change, a US advocacy group that campaigns to “end practices that unfairly hold Black people back,” accused the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star of “appropriating our pain and struggle”.
Color of Change also highlighted the similarity between the advert’s imagery and a famous photograph of Black Lives Matter activist Leshia Evans, which was taken last year at a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Many Twitter users have also criticised the advert for being “tone deaf”. Some have suggested Jenner should donate her fee to charity.
Jenner has yet to respond to the controversy, though Pepsi said in a statement: “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.”
Earlier today, Pepsi told Teen Vogue: “The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”