Kendall Jenner accused of ‘exploiting Black Lives Matter movement’ in ‘tone-deaf’ Pepsi advert

The advert shows the model and reality star handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer supervising a protest.

Kendall Jenner in the new Pepsi advert
Kendall Jenner in the new Pepsi advert

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.

out now! @pepsi

— Kendall (@KendallJenner) April 4, 2017

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”.

Stop appropriating our pain and struggle @Pepsi @KendallJenner.

— (@ColorOfChange) April 5, 2017

Nothing like thinking a rich white woman + corporatism are what’s needed to end state violence against Black people. @Pepsi @KendallJenner

— (@ColorOfChange) April 5, 2017

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.

The new @Pepsi ad stealing the imagery of @IeshiaEvans in Baton Rouge and exploiting the activism of Black women.

— (@ColorOfChange) April 5, 2017

Many Twitter users have also criticised the advert for being “tone deaf”. Some have suggested Jenner should donate her fee to charity.

The cop’s face at the end. 😂 “You know, this thin white woman makes a good point. Pepsi MIGHT BE better than state violence!”

— Olivia A. Cole (@RantingOwl) April 4, 2017

What was @Pepsi thinking in making Kendall Jenner the champion of conquering racism? Who decided to ship that ad? Talk about being tone deaf

— Le Tang (@letaang) April 4, 2017

What idiot thought glamorizing protests was such a brilliant idea?? What idiot picked Kendall Jenner out of all people??

— lavender dream girl (@EasterJasmin) April 5, 2017

@CNN If I were @KendallJenner, I’d donate all proceeds from this #EpicFail to charity 💰💵💰 Not like she’ll miss the money 🙄#PepsixKendall @pepsi

— ✨Danielle✨ (@luckystars00) April 5, 2017

@pepsi – what in the hell were yall thinking with that comercial with Kendall jenner? #epicfail #superoffensive

— Honestly Ryan (@rallen118) April 5, 2017

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.”

The post Kendall Jenner accused of ‘exploiting Black Lives Matter movement’ in ‘tone-deaf’ Pepsi advert appeared first on NME.

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