Pepsi Ridiculed for Ad Implying Kendall Jenner Can Solve Police Brutality with a Can of Cola

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Kendall Jenner said she was “thrilled” to join a list of performers who appeared in Pepsi ads. (Pepsi)

Pepsi is at the center of controversy after unveiling an ad featuring model and reality starlet Kendall Jenner diffusing a protest by handing a cop a can of the beverage.

Jenner excitedly tweeted the 30-second ad Tuesday, April 4, where she was in the middle of a photo shoot before a protester outside her window motioned for her to join the movement. Jenner agrees and rips off her blonde wig, hands it to a Black woman standing by and joins the demonstration. The 21-year-old’s TV spot wraps with her recreating the iconic photo of a Black Live Matter protester facing riot-gear-wearing Baton Rouge law enforcement, except Jenner hands a uniformed officer a can of Pepsi resulting in a cheer from the crowd of protesters.

“A short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back,” Pepsi described the ad on YouTube. “Capturing the spirit and actions of those people that jump into every moment and featuring multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments. No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive.”

“This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony,” Pepsi told BuzzFeedNews of the controversy. “And we think that’s an important message to convey.”

The public found the ad distasteful and shared its sentiments online.

Bernice King, Dr. King’s youngest daughter, shared her feelings.

Several called out Jenner, her sister Kylie and her Kardashian sisters Kim and Khloé for appropriating Black movements and culture.

Others thought the ad oversimplified the tensions between the Black community and police.

Some mockingly reflected on how Pepsi could have changed history.

One person poked fun at Pepsi’s insertion into famous historical photos.

Another hoped something good would come out of the advertisement.

Update: Pepsi pulled the ad featuring Kendall Jenner Wednesday, April 5 due after it was met with criticism.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize,” the company said in a press release. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

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