*hard eye roll and deep sigh*
I wasn't going to talk about this... But here we are.
Unless you've been living under a rock or have been without so much as a dial-up internet connection, I am sure you've heard by now of the release, reaction and aftermath of the controversial Pepsi commercial/ short film featuring Kendall Jenner.
Photo Credit: NY Post
So, a rundown: Pepsi thought it'd be a good idea to release a commercial with the theme of a protest and feature Kendall Jenner as the leader of the resistance. In the commercial, Kendall is working at a photoshoot, notices a protest going on outside, but it took the beckoning of one of the protesters to come outside for her to decide to join the festivities. She leaves her shoot, takes off and throws her blonde Party Central wig at a black lady (strike one) and joins this protest going on in the streets. She gets outside and is greeted by all types of people and sashays gleefully through the crowd for good measure. She's handed a pepsi can and proceeds to make her way to the line of officers, handing one of them the pepsi can. He takes a sip, is pleased and the crowd erupts in cheer, like this sip of carbonated sugar water was the answer to all of their prayers.
I didn't even see the commercial, but I could just tell from the screen grabs and clips that I wouldn't have been able to get through it. The problem with this is that Pepsi CHOSE to see nothing wrong with trivializing the very real issues that black and brown people are fighting for and STILL released this bullshxt. If only the Civil Rights Movement activists, Black Panther Party members, the countless black lives taken too soon by the hands of police officers and white supremacist groups, LGBTQ individuals, the people in Syria suffering from airstrikes and bombings, etc. had've known the power of Pepsi. Tell the people who are being deported or can't get back into the U.S. to flash a Pepsi six pack in the authorities' direction. When trouble ensues, just make sure you have some Pepsi on hand and everything will be okay. This whole thing is insensitive, insulting and white-washed. More than anything, it shows a white woman's privilege: Kendall character would've gone on about her day had she not been persuaded by participants to join their protest. The occurrences outside had nothing to do with her, and her privilege allowed her be able to separate herself from these people who have to fight for the basic rights that she takes for granted. However, in order to seem down for the cause and portray a sense of "allyship," why not participate in the name of unity and understanding, right? The whole thing put this white, happy-go-lucky lens on a serious issue. Marginalized groups are literally fighting for their lives in some way everyday, and to have this white woman do nothing more than hand a soda to an officer and get the reaction that followed was a slap in the face to people really on the ground doing the necessary work for the betterment of all people. It's making a mockery of the constant fight for justice, and none of us are here for it! White people love to do the absolute least in mobilizing change and appearing to be down and then want to collect their cookies and pats on the back, as if their inclusion really made an impact. OVER IT.
Due to all the negative backlash, Pepsi immediately snatched the commercial from any further media rollout and issued this lame statement. The kicker was that in said statement, they apologized to Kendall. People apparently wanted to come to Kendall's aid, saying that she was basically the victim here and that she's just a child who didn't know what she was getting into. If I recall correctly, anytime a model or actor/actress is tapped for any type of ad campaign or commercial, a script and details concerning are given beforehand for review. Kendall knew completely what she was getting into. She is 21 years old, and her status as a child ran out when she turned 18. She is a consenting adult who has the ability to say yes and no to whatever she pleases. She simply didn't care to and/or her privilege allowed her not to acknowledge the deeper meaning of what she was agreeing to be involved in. And who would honestly believe that Kendall Jenner would be head of any kind of resistance? I'm so sure that she wouldn't be caught anywhere near anyone's protest. White people never want to admit when they are at fault, and I'm so over it! Through all of this backlash that Pepsi and all parties involved received, a white women STILL became the victim in all of this and was the focal point of Pepsi's apology.
Bottom line: Someone (or some) needs to be fired!
And I can just imagine this playing out with Kendall being victimized in next year's season of KUWTK. Jezebel was on to something with this one:
As if this wasn't enough, Nivea gave us this bs...
But wait, there's more. Nivea, 2011
& this Sony ad was even dug up from 2009...
I'm so tired. Between white people's president and everything else going on, Lord help. Something has to give.
But as long as I have my Pepsi, right?!
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