Kendall Jenner Accused of Cultural Appropriation for Launching Tequila Brand

In this file photo, Kylie and Kendall Jenner attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp. Kendall Jenner faces accusations of cultural appropriation after promoting her tequila on Instagram on February 17.(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Model Kendall Jenner is under scrutiny for launching her own tequila brand — 818 Tequila — on Tuesday. Social media users deem the move as cultural appropriation.

“[F]or almost 4 years i’ve been on a journey to create the best tasting tequila,” announced Jenner on Instagram Wednesday.

The model said she believes she finally has the right tequila after “dozens of blind taste tests” and anonymously entering into world tasting competitions and winning.

“[T]his is all we’ve been drinking for the last year and [I] can’t wait for everyone else to get their hands on this to enjoy it as much as we do!” Jenner added.

Some commenters criticized Jenner for cultural appropriation, given that the tequila is made in Jalisco, Mexico.

“How do you go 4 years thinking that this is appropriate? Stay in your own lane. This is wack AF,” an Instagram user said on Jenner’s post.

“Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way.. like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…” a Twitter user commented.

“Am I the only one that finds it an eye roll that Kendall Jenner is coming out with her own tequila.. from jalisco, Mex,” Tweeted another.

Jenner was slammed for allegedly “white washing” the Jalisco, Mexico-based tequila brand, likely because she named the brand “818” after her Calabasas, California, roots.

“I like this keep bullying Kendall Jenner for exploiting Mexicans and their culture smh don’t buy her white washed ass tequila buy from the authentic Mexican businesses support them!” said one Twitter user.

“Not the fuckin jenners end that shit too like yall did her pepsi commercial lmfaoo,” the Twitter user added.

In 2017, Jenner was slammed for playing a left-wing protester in a Pepsi commercial who hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer during a rally.

“Oooh look a Kar/Jenner colonizer trying to gentrify and appropriate something that’s not theirs, as usual,” said another social media user on Instagram, referring to the model’s sister Kylie Jenner and half-sister Kim Kardashian.

“Kendall Jenner coming out with her own tequila brand… what’s next on the Kardashian/Jenner colonization list?” echoed a Twitter user.

Last year, Kylie Jenner was slammed for being a “culture stealing colonizer” after she made a cameo appearance in a leopard print outfit for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” music video.

In 2019, Kim Kardashian changed her “Kimono” shapewear name after social media users objected to what they said was appropriation of the traditional Japanese kimono in the name of her clothing line.

“Tired of the celebrity tequila craze! WTF does @KendallJenner know about tequila my family’s been doing back breaking work in the fields for their entire lives in Jalisco just for ppl to come dip their toes Face with rolling eyes stay in your lane,” lamented another Twitter user.

“Love the taste of exploitation!” wrote an Instagram user on Jenner’s post.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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