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Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi ad prompts online backlash

A new advertisement for Pepsi Max uses imagery of a protest, which many criticized as being tone deaf


 
Kendall Jenner appears in an ad for Pepsi Max that sparked anger over what critics say is tone-deaf imagery. Image via screenshot.

Kendall Jenner appears in an ad for Pepsi Max that sparked anger over what critics say is tone deaf imagery. Image via screenshot.

NEW YORK – Model and Kardashian clan member Kendall Jenner’s turn as a Pepsi-wielding protester has some on social media decrying the imagery as appropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The “Live for Now Moments” video released Tuesday has Jenner in a platinum wig on a photo shoot when protesters amble by. She rips off her wig, smears away her lipstick and joins them, eventually handing an officer on the demonstration line a can of Pepsi. He gulps some down, and then grins as Jenner dances off with her new friends.

MORE: Pepsi’s long history of naked laundering of culture as consumerism

Reaction on social media ranged from some saying the imagery was tone deaf, to it evoking a widely circulated photo of Black Lives Matter protester Leshia Evans last year in Louisiana. Evans was detained when she approached police at a demonstration in Baton Rouge.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Pepsi defended the 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,” the statement said.

UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, Pepsi announced that it is pulling the ad.


 
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