Apparently, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and basically anyone connected to any form of media must have been absent the day the memo came out that Pepsi could bring about world peace.
Model and reality-television star Kendall Jenner, showed us in her recent two-minute Pepsi ad several actions that have outraged the public. Jenner is seen posing for a photo shoot before leaving to join a passing protest, a hands a police officer a can of Pepsi as he accepts the drink, takes a sip, then cracks a smile bringing about happiness and joy to everyone.
Twitter caught wind of this and as they say, “the rest was history.” Despite the 1.6 million views on YouTube, the ad was quickly accused of appropriating “protest culture” and using social justice to sell soda.
The image of Jenner seemed awkwardly familiar to that of Iesha Evans, a protester who was detained by law enforcement while protesting in Baton Rouge following the shoot death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police.
Tweet could be found saying things such as “can you believe Kendall Jenner solved all the black lives matter issues by giving a Pepsi to a cop? inspiring”
New Yorker contributing writer Jia Tolentino wrote “Next time @Pepsi do one where Kendal Jenner marches to Montgomery but the cops don’t bludgeon her because she’s white & has a refreshing @Pepsi.”
Well known community organizer Deray McKesson also comment on the ad, tweeting, “If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would’ve gotten arrested. Who knew?”
While many people were outraged about the tone-death nature of the ad, many don’t see a problem at all.
A survey of 2,202 people found that 44% them had a more favorable view of Pepsi after watching the ad, while about a quarter of them had a less favorable view.
Since then an official statement has been sent out from Pepsi stating:
“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,” they said in a statement.”
Then again, this is a prime example of the lack of diversity in the major work places such as Pepsi. Someone of a marginalized group would not have let Pepsi go through with this, and probably would’ve saved them thousands if not millions on damage control expenses.