A newly-released Pepsi commercial featuring reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner is catching mockery and heat on social and traditional media.
In the ad, Jenner is seen working a photo shoot while protesters are marching down a street. As the demonstrators get closer to a line of police, Jenner takes off her blonde wig and jumps into action by grabbing a can of Pepsi and making peace between the two sides by handing the sugary soda to a cop.
Elle notes that the image of Jenner approaching the police appears to rip off an iconic picture of real life Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, in July 2016. Evans, who is African-American, approached the police and was arrested (unlike Jenner).
Elle notes: "It's as if someone saw that photo, immediately forgot about it, and then recalled something in a dream about a woman standing in front of the cops with no political implications."
An analysis of the ad by The Los Angeles Times states: "Pepsi seems to want consumers to identify it as the soda brand of the #resistance, of the sign-waving young people rising up with renewed fervor in the Trump era. Instead, the brand comes across as hopelessly tone-deaf."
Teen Vogue echoed similar thoughts: "The ad ends with the confusing idea that by offering a Pepsi to the police officers (who appear to be the opposition party in this story), the protesters have achieved some kind of victory. If there's symbolism buried in that idea, it's most certainly lost."
Twitter users accused Jenner and Pepsi of trying to co-opt Black Lives Matter protests for corporate profit, Raw Story notes:
Apparently [Kendall Jenner] and [Pepsi] have taken over Black Lives Matter. Not kidding.
Extremely brave of Pepsi to stand up for Pepsi rights
i get it now. if black lives matter protesters would've handed a pepsi to the cops they wouldnt of gotten tear gassed. it's so clear now.
*Cop raises nightstick over unarmed black person*
*Black person timidly offers cop Pepsi in their hand*
*Cop apologizes, hugs them.*
On the cutting room floor [because] Pepsi wanted a happy ending instead of a realistic one
Shorter: Kylie gets woke at a photoshoot, joins, nay, LEADS protest to give cop a Pepsi so he's nice? Is that it in a nutshell?
Wow so a can of Pepsi is the answer
If the point of that Pepsi ad was to prompt a heated debate over whether Pepsi sucks or not they definitely succeeded.
[Pepsi] delete your company.