The controversial advert was withdrawn by the drinks company after a huge backlash online
Saturday Night Live aired a spoof take on the controversial Kendall Jenner-starring Pepsi advert, which was axed quickly after it was unveiled last week.
The commercial, which showed Jenner handed a police officer a can of Pepsi as a way of calming tensions between authorities and protestors, was accused of erasing the Black Lives Matter movement and called “tone-deaf” by critics.
In the sketch that aired on last night’s episode (April 8), cast member Beck Bennett plays the writer behind the advert. He has some last-minute doubts about the plotline of the ad and talks to various people who inform him he is using people from different ethnic backgrounds to “sell soda”.
Jenner, played by Cecily Strong, is later seen talking on the phone, saying: “I’m on the set of my Pepsi commercial. I stop the police from shooting black people by giving them a Pepsi. I know, it’s cute, right?”
Watch the sketch below, via Rolling Stone.
Last week, 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.
Pepsi initially responded to the controversy by saying 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.”
However, the corporation has since bowed to pressure on social media and pulled the campaign completely. “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize,” it said in a statement. “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.”