In the hours since Pepsi released its “Live For Now Moments Anthem” ad starring model Kendall Jenner, Twitter has erupted with criticism. In the ad, Jenner witnesses a protest outside while she’s on a modeling job, inspiring her to ditch the photo shoot and join the group. At the end of the ad, Jenner hands a can of Pepsi to one of the police officers confronting the crowd, seemingly making peace.
Many Twitter users were quick to slam the ad, which some felt was appropriating protests such as Black Lives Matter and the women’s marches that have been happening across the U.S. amid the tense political climate. Some also said the moment Jenner handed the officer a Pepsi was a distasteful tribute to the now-famous photo of a woman named Ieshia Evans, who stood silently as police in riot gear arrested her at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, La., in 2016.
Pepsi has responded to the backlash with the following 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 statement to Teen Vogue, a Pepsi spokesperson said, “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.”
Update: Pepsi has pulled the ad and issued a statement on social media:
See what people on Twitter are saying below: