Are you tired of all the stories about Russia and Rice? Well, for all you pop-culture people, here is a story you can drink up. Pepsi has apologized for a controversial advertisement with Kendall Jenner, and they have pulled the ad. After intense criticism from people who said it trivialized the protests against the killing of black people by the police. Some have said it trivializes Black Lives Matters, what do you think? Watch below:
Here is Pepsi’s response: “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”
The ad shows a gaggle of really good looking young people holding signs that say things like “Join the conversation.” The protestors are smiling, hugging and high-fiving. The whole thing ends with a police officer accepting a can of Pepsi from the super model, Kendall Jenner. The protesting crowd roars with approval when the officer opens the can and takes a drink.
Critics say that the whole scene depicts just the opposite of the real-world reality of protesting police brutality. Many commentators on social media accused Pepsi of using imagery from very serious protests to sell its product and minimizing the dangers and frustrations that most protestors encounter. Elle Hearns, the executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and formerly an organizer for Black Lives Matter, said the ad “plays down the sacrifices people have historically taken in utilizing protests.”
“No one is finding joy from Pepsi at a protest,” she said. “That’s just not the reality of our lives. That’s not what it looks like to take bold action.” Hearns also took offense at the connection the Pepsi ad had with a popular picture of a woman in a past protest. Ieshia Evans, a black woman, was photographed standing firm while being charged by riot police during a protest against police brutality in Baton Roughe, LA, in July. “That woman standing in the middle of the street was not trying to be a peacemaker with the police. She was being defiant. She was actually resisting.”
Kendall Jenner: Can I copy off of you?
Iesha Evans: No.
Kendall:* Looks over shoulder anyway*
Damn that. I'm getting this Pepsi money. pic.twitter.com/NUXwCZnM7p
— C I L L My Landlord (@GuruBluXVIII) April 4, 2017
So what do you think about the ad? And what do you think about Pepsi’s decision to pull the ad?