Update: A representative for Pepsi provided the following statement to Breitbart News late Tuesday night: “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. “
Original story below:
Model-actress Kendall Jenner and soda giant Pepsi came under harsh criticism on social media Tuesday for a new commercial that appears to use the backdrop of politically-charged protests to hawk more soda.
In the nearly three-minute ad — titled “Live for Now Moments Anthem” — Jenner is pictured on a modeling shoot in New York City when a sizable crowd of protesters streams past holding signs and demonstrating in the streets.
Soon, Jenner takes off her blonde wig and joins the protesters, who appear to be styled after anti-Donald Trump “resistance” demonstrators. The model steps through the crowd holding a can of Pepsi, which she then hands to one of the police officers watching the protest; the officer accepts the can, to the loud cheers of everyone in the streets.
The advertisement spurred a widespread backlash online, particularly among progressives and social justice activists, with hundreds of social media users weighing in with mostly negative feedback as “Pepsi” began trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
Some critics took aim at the ad’s apparent suggestion that sharing a soda with a police officer could end racial discrimination, while others — including comedian Patton Oswalt — joked about the soda’s mythical life-saving qualities.
Below is a sampling of social media reaction to the ad.
A representative for Pepsi did not immediately return a request for comment.
Idk how appropriation of today's protesting can be thought of as a good idea, yea just hand the cops a Pepsi and racial profiling will end!
— Rory Fitzpatrick♛ (@StopRory) April 4, 2017
J. Edgar Hoover takes aim from the grassy knoll. The motorcade approaches. He fires. JFK raises a #Pepsi to his lips, blocks the bullet.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 5, 2017
"Now just wait one second officers.
I have a Pepsi." pic.twitter.com/NW0sddKOOI
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 5, 2017
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) April 5, 2017
— Nichelle Lee (@NickiLee123) April 5, 2017
— Cali (@cali07109) April 5, 2017
— Kincaid (@kincaid323) April 5, 2017
Why would anyone think
That giving a cop a drink
Would bring about change?
We still think you're strange.
Pls dump that Pepsi down the sink.
— Paige Lyons (@waterrwithlemon) April 5, 2017
— AR$ (@Oramihigh) April 5, 2017
A white girl calming the tensions at a protest/rally by giving the officers some soda?…..Yea..Pepsi didn't think that one through.
— #TrustTheProcess (@KENNotBeStopped) April 5, 2017
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum