A source says Jenner is “devastated” by the controversy.
After their new commercial starring Kendall Jenner sparked widespread outrage yesterday, Pepsi pulled the ad and issued an apology for the tone-deaf spot.
In the ad, Jenner is shown joining a smiling, multiculturally diverse crowd engaged in a protest of some sort. She grabs a can of Pepsi from a cooler and hands it to a police officer, causing people to cheer, dance, and embrace.
Criticism was swift and harsh on the heels of the commercial’s debut, with people saying it made light of the protests surrounding Donald Trump’s election and the Muslim ban as well as the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “[This] is a perfect example of what happens when there’s no black people in the room when decisions are being made,” comedian Travon Free tweeted.
Initially, Pepsi stood behind the spot, saying, “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.” But as the cascade of condemnation continued, Pepsi bowed to pressure and announced they were pulling the ad. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further roll out. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
The 21 year-old model and Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is “devastated” by the backlash surrounding the ad, a source told ET Online. Jenner had gushed about the commercial in a behind-the-scenes clip shared by Pepsi as part of the ad campaign, saying “It’s really cool and I’m really excited about it. It’s a dream come true.”
Jenner has since deleted all mention of the ad from her social media accounts. But, says the source, “Even though she had nothing to do with the production and the message of the campaign, she will be blamed for this since she is the face.”
That’s proved to be true, as reaction from Twitter shows…
— Kyle (@nancyreagan420) April 5, 2017
A visual representation of Kendall Jenner’s career after that Pepsi commercial tanked. pic.twitter.com/aiudrPiPim
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) April 6, 2017
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) April 6, 2017
— Shay Morris (@ShayMorris1) April 5, 2017
i think the funniest thing about the Pepsi fiasco is Kendall Jenner looked at the script and was like “Yeah, cool. I’m in.”
— Fahim Anwar (@fahimanwar) April 5, 2017
Jenner hasn’t issued a public statement about the fiasco yet, probably because she is bound by an ironclad agreement with Pepsi that doesn’t allow her to comment. Sources say she was paid “well into the millions” to star in the campaign.
Image via Pepsi.
Comment: What do you think of the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad?