Kendall Jenner Pepsi Commercial Slammed By Celebrities – Watch Ad, See Reaction
Kendall Jenner’s new protest-themed Pepsi commercial is sparking controversy on social media. And among those slamming the model and the ad are fellow celebrities.
On Tuesday morning, Pepsi debuted the clip on YouTube via its Pepsi Global account. The description reads, “A short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back. Capturing the spirit and actions of those people that jump in to every moment and featuring multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments. No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive.”
That message may have gotten lost in translation. The ad shows Jenner doing a photo shoot as a protest march goes by. She ditches the gig and joins the crowd, handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer who is standing guard. “Live bolder, live louder, live for now,” reads on-screen text as both Jenner and the cop smile, while the protesters erupt in cheers.
As the clip circulated throughout the day, backlash started to build as Jenner and Pepsi were accused of appropriating the resistance movement for commercialized purposes. Detractors on social media argued the ad minimized the protest movement and police brutality, suggesting all it takes is soda to make things great again. By the evening, Pepsi was the top trending topic on Twitter, and “Kendall” was trending as well.
Samantha Ronson was particularly bothered by the commercial, initially tweeting, “Nah bro.” She went on to ask, “How did this pitch make it passed the first sentence?” The DJ also retweeted a podcaster, who sarcastically said, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” And she shared this from the co-founder of The Hundreds, “I guess we figured out what everyone’s protesting in that Pepsi commercial.”
Ronson wasn’t the only celeb to react negatively to the commercial. Susan Sarandon retweeted an author who said, “This might possibly be the worst thing I have ever seen.” The actress also re-posted, “@Pepsi, this ad is trash,” from the well-known activist DeRay. And Patton Oswalt tweeted mockingly, “J. Edgar Hoover takes aim from the grassy knoll. The motorcade approaches. He fires. JFK raises a #Pepsi to his lips, blocks the bullet.”
Rose McGowan also asked, “Who are the dudes behind this genius? #vomitcomet.” Stephen Colbert cracked, “This Pepsi ad is so unrealistic. Those protesters would have been Dr. Pepper Sprayed.” Rowan Farrow remarked, “The inoffensive generic protest signs in Pepsi’s woke Kendall Jenner ad are hilarious.”
And John Fugelsang commented, “Pepsi just made the commercial of the year for Coke.” While Jenner hasn’t responded to the criticism, Pepsi says in a statement, “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.”
In a separate statement, the company also says, “The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”
Watch both the short and long versions of the controversial commercial below. UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, Pepsi announced it was pulling the ad. The new statement says, “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 roll-out. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”