Pepsi have pulled an advert featuring Kendall Jenner, after viewers accused it of appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement.
The advert saw Jenner leave a photoshoot, throwing off her blonde wig in the process, in order to join a protest. The crowds carried placards which didn’t denote any specific cause, scrawled with words like “Love” and “Join the conversation”.
At the end of the ad she handed a policeman a can of Pepsi, seemingly as a peace offering. It led to the crowds cheering and the policeman smiling.
Many commenters on Twitter criticised the scenes for seeming to co-opt the resistance movement and using the current fraught political climate for commercial gain.
While others have pointed to the fact that it shows a “white, privileged” model acting as a peace maker between civil rights protesters and the police.
The gag is that if a black man put their hand in their pocket to get out a Pepsi for a cop at a protest they'd get shot.— Josh (@J_Manasa) April 5, 2017
I can't believe Kendall Jenner ended police brutality and white supremacy with a can of Pepsi not bad for a girl with no talent— charlie 🍓 (@lgbtgreene) April 4, 2017
When the Pepsi can is steaming hot but u have 2 deliver it to the police b4 it cools down— Patoranking (@pyepar) April 5, 2017
Specifically, it was suggested that the scene between Kendall and the officer references a photo of Leshia Evans who was charged by riot police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016.
Kendall Jenner: Can I copy off of you?— C I L L My Landlord (@GuruBluXVIII) April 4, 2017
Iesha Evans: No.
Kendall:* Looks over shoulder anyway*
Damn that. I'm getting this Pepsi money. pic.twitter.com/NUXwCZnM7p
Others said the global ad was offensive to those who live in countries where there is ongoing conflict.
In a statement, Pepsi initially said: "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony. We think that's an important message to convey."
However, the brand have since pulled the advert and apologised to Jenner, who is yet to comment.