Pepsi drew some backlash last week when it’s controversial new advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner made light of the Black Lives Matter movement across the US.
Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley is also getting some unwanted attention because his song “Lion” provides the soundtrack for the ad. Kendall Jenner also received some heavy criticisms from the folks on Twitter and even some celebrities have weighed in like outspoken radio host Charlamange Tha God.
Despite the negative reaction around the ad, Skip Marley got some praise for his vocals with some fans hailing the soundtrack as the best part of the ad. “This song is the best thing about the horrible Pepsi ad,” one fan wrote. Pepsi has since issued a statement disbanding the ad, but is the damage already done? “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” Pepsi said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise.”
The controverisl Pepsi commercial showed Kendall Jenner ending a stand-off between protesters and police by handing a male officer a can of Pepsi
The imagery in the ad evokes the real-life moment protester Ieshia Evans faced down lines of heavily armed police during a Black Lives Matter demonstration
Many vented their frustration with the commercialism of the ad on social media
The soda giant announced on Wednesday afternoon it had canned the spot
Shortly beforehand, MLK's daughter, Bernice, added her own form of criticism
'If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi,' King tweeted
Pepsi apologized for the commercial, and to Jenner, in a statement Wednesday
Pepsi has canned its controversial new commercial starring Kendall Jenner, after it was blasted for being 'tone deaf'.
The soda giant announced it was scrapping the spot in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon.
'Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding,' the statement read.
'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.'
Pepsi has canceled its controversial new advertisement starring Kendall Jenner, after it was mocked by Bernice King - MLK's daughter
Bernice King attacked the Pepsi commercial on social media on Wednesday - just before the drink company announced it was canceling the advertisement
The statement was released shortly after Bernice King - the daughter of MLK - mocked it on social media.
PEPSI'S STATEMENT CANCELING THE AD
Pepsi was trying to project a global a 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.
'If only daddy knew about the power of Pepsi,' she tweeted, while sharing a photograph of her iconic father clashing with police on the front-line of a protest.
The two-and-a-half-minute commercial features Kendall stepping out of a crowd of multi racial protesters to end a stand-off with police officer by handing him a can of Pepsi.
It was also slammed by other stars and celebrities on social media, including: Lena Dunham, Questlove, Judd Apatow, and Patton Oswalt.
'J. Edgar Hoover takes aim from the grassy knoll. The motorcade approaches. He fires. JFK raises a Pepsi to his lips, blocks the bullet,' Oswalt tweeted.
'Assuming everything that can be said about faux-test Pepsi ad has been said so I'm just gonna go with this: it didn't make me want Pepsi,' Dunham wrote.
Kendall Jenner, 21, is at the center of backlash for a Pepsi commercial she starred in that has been accused of 'appropriating the resistance'
Celebrities including Lena Dunham were quick to slam the star's tone-deaf Pepsi commercial
Judd Apatow also had his say on the bizarre advert - saying he could never 'make something as funny'
Patton Oswalt joked that Pepsi could have stopped a faux plot that involved J.Edgar Hoover killing JFK
Questlove ripped into Pepsi for putting an April Fools commercial out four days late
'That Pepsi commercial was genius troll move of the year, 4 days from April Fools? we talkin/meming bout em too?' Questlove said, before adding: 'Dear corporations let this be a lesson. you run the risk of getting DRAGGED if your boardroom shows NO diversity.---there is NO excuse.
For not ONE PERSON to smack some sense in y'all. i mean I'm laughing. cause .0000003 per cent of me hopes this was some "lets troll em!" move.'
And the mocking didn't stop after the ad was canceled, with social media continuing to bubble over with jokes and complaints.
'O'Reilly Factor down to one advertisement for tonight: Kendall's Pepsi commercial,' Josh Brown wrote, in a reference to the current controversy surrounding Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
'I think it's time to open my "Ask A Black person" consulting firm,' comedian Travon Free tweeted.
'Pepsi pulling ad + also apologizes to Kendall Jenner - I was under the impression that she's a grown a** woman who was present for filming,' another said.
'Steve Bannon could probably use a @pepsi right about now,' model Ines Helene joked.
Pepsi previously defended the commercial in a statement, saying it was: '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.'
The imagery - whether intentional or not - evokes the real-life moment protester Ieshia Evans faced down lines of heavily armed police wearing riot gear during a Black Lives Matter demonstration over the fatal shooting of a black man by police.
Evans was arrested moments later, unlike Kendall whose actions win her knowing smile from the Pepsi ad's handsome, enlightened cop.
The ad has sparked outrage online from hundreds accusing Pepsi of trying to cash in on the Black Lives Matter protests. Twitter was flooded with deeply sarcastic posts mocking the 'tone deaf' ad.
Many compared Kendall's action to that of protester Ieshia Evans (pictured) last year in Indiana during the Black Lives Matter protests across the country
Kendall joins the crowd of young protesters with a Pepsi in hand in the now-canned commercial
Not everyone was upset with the controversial commercial, as Kris Jenner tweeted out how proud she was of her daughter for being 'the face of (Pepsi's) campaign'
Kendall Jenner stars in Pepsi's 'Live for Now Moments Anthem' ad
'How nice of Kendall Jenner to stop in the middle of her photo shoot to end social injustices by giving that cop a Pepsi,' one Twitter user wrote. 'MLK who? Rosa who?'
User @lgbtgreene added: '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.'
Others complained that it was a transparent attempt by Pepsi to try and tap into whatever the 'youth (are) into these days.'
Of course, it is not the first time a soda giant has been accused of crass commercialism.
Evans was arrested moments later, unlike Kendall whose actions win her knowing smile from the Pepsi ad's cop
Social media bubbled over with criticism from people who thought the commercial was making light of a serious issue
Coca Cola faced fierce backlash for their Super Bowl ad, which was actually a re-run, this year which features people of all different ethnicities singing America the Beautiful in multiple languages.
People accused the brand of trying to ride the wave of pro-immigrant and unity sentiment shortly after Donald Trump announced his Muslim ban.
In another unfortunate creative choice, Coke was forced to pull an online advert in 2015 which appeared to show Caucasian people turning up at an indigenous town in Mexico bearing gifts of soda cans and a Christmas tree for locals.
Coke received so many complaints that the ad reinforced stereotypes of whites teaching 'culturally and racially subordinate' indigenous people, that they even issued a rare apology.
Another user was so shocked, they assumed it was an ad for the competition
The ad starts out with a glamorous Kendall in a blonde wig, doing a photo shoot in front of a large window
But Pepsi appears to have outdone their rival with an advert which many complains 'mocks' the Black Lives Movement - which began over the deaths of so many young black men at the hands of police and has gone on to spark national and international protests.
Violence between police and protesters have been reported at numerous such demonstrations which have even resulted in fatal shootings in some cases.
Not then, the most obvious setting in which to set an ad to sell sugary, fizzy drinks.
The commercial, filmed in Bangkok for the brand's new Live For Now moments campaign, begins with a protest of young, attractive demonstrators holding aloft bland signs which proclaim statements such as 'Love' and 'Be part of the conversation.'
Jenner sees the protesters walking by and wants to join in on the movement instead of finishing up her photo shoot
The model pulls off her wig and walks away from her photo shoot towards the protest in the now-canned commercial
In the commercial, Jenner smears off her lipstick in a symbol of her change of political ambition
Kendall Jenner gives a sneak peek at her new Pepsi ad campaign
The march continues past a photoshoot where who else but Kendall Jenner is posing, in a short silver dress with platinum blonde hair, in front of the camera until her attention is drawn to a cute protester who gestures for her to join the movement.
Suddenly awakened to the cause, and perhaps the frivolity of a life of fame and photoshoots, the 21-year-old rips off her blonde wig, wipes off her makeup and joins the crowd.
She is now 'one of them'.
When the crowd come up against a line of attractive cops, Kendall has the solution; Pepsi.
She hands over a can to the most handsome officer and the crowd erupts in cheers as he takes a sip. Kendall pumps her fist in the air while the cop, seemingly won over by the gesture, shares a look with his colleague to say, 'well, they can't be that bad.'
Jenner 'bravely' steps out of the crowd and hands the officer who is blocking the protest a can of Pepsi
All is well: He drinks the Pepsi, all problems go away and everyone is happy again
Kendall has not yet responded to the criticism of the ad, set to the sound of Lion, a new track by Bob Marley's grandson Skip.
But before it was released Kendall had said: 'I am thrilled to join the legendary roster of icons who have represented their generations and worked with Pepsi.'
She added: 'The spirit of Pepsi - living in the 'now' moment- is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today.'
But her fans are less than pleased and have taken to social media to call out her and Pepsi.
One user pointed out the comparison between the ad and the picture of Evans, saying: 'I'm gonna end this thread with this picture. The picture of that you mocked in this advertisement.'
'So according to @KendallJenner and @pepsi the racial tension problem is just a matter of thirsty cops,' another user lamented.
Community organizer Deray Mckesson added: 'If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would've gotten arrested. Who knew?'
Comedian Margaret Cho wrote: 'If this #Pepsi ad is the choice of a new generation, Im gonna need that generation to turn in its badge.'
Fellow comic and actor Jim Gaffigan added: 'But you said you wanted social media to talk about Pepsi." - Advertising guy to Pepsi executive before agency is fired.'
Meanwhile members of an Austin Black Lives Matter group were outraged by the ad.
Jane Dunnington wrote on their group's page: 'What BS-- the pretty white chick gives the cop a Pepsi and it's all good; everyone cheers?! Yeah, that fixed institutional racism.'
'Wow that is offensive on so many levels,' Haley Bach added.
More fans on Twitter called both Kendall and Pepsi out for the ad showing their disdain for the 'tone deaf' ad