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 🍓 (@melonblades) April 4, 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.
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.