If you haven't seen Pepsi's controversial video yet, you can watch it below.
An ad released Tuesday by Pepsi, in which Kendall Jenner (a smiling white woman) hands a can of Pepsi to a (goodmannered and handsome) police officer and is met by the cheers of (gorgeous) f̶e̶s̶t̶i̶v̶a̶l̶ ̶g̶o̶e̶r̶s̶ protesters has sparked enough controversy in twenty-four hours to be pulled completely.
The scene allegedly rips off what the New York Times has called the World’s Best Photo, where real activist Ieshia Evans was photographed standing up to charging officers in riot gear.
The ad was met with immediate negative attention on social media, which grew going into Wednesday afternoon, as the ad gains coverage.
People like executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute Elle Hearns who have been involved heavily with the Black Lives Matter movement feel the ad downplays the struggle of those who have been forced to take to the streets to advocate for social change.
“No one is finding joy from Pepsi at a protest,” Hearns said to a reporter at the NYT. “That’s just not the reality of our lives. That’s not what it looks like to take bold action.”
Even Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., took to twitter to speak out against the ad.
(In the tweet: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” -Bernice King)
Others have also taken to social media to express their concerns with the commercial, some targeting Jenner, who is no stranger to controversy.
Jenner came under similar fire late 2015 after sporting cornrows, and again late 2016 for doing a ballerina photo shoot for Vogue, which some felt trivialized the extraneous training ballerinas go through. (Though Jenner disagreed, writing on her app "It confuses me how people can get that upset when there are so many important things going on in the world. But, it's obviously not going to stop me from working hard and being me.")
Additional problematic imaging includes the scene where Jenner rips off her blonde wig to join the crowd, handing it to a nearby black woman.
Some Twitter users who saw the issue with the clip, including author Olivia Cole, called Jenner and Pepsi out for the hypocracy.
However, after all of this, Pepsi ended up pulling the ad mid Wednesday and issued this statement:
Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. 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 rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.