NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Pepsi is pulling an ad that is being widely criticized for appearing to trivialize protests for social justice causes.
The company said Monday that,”Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.”
Model and Kardashian clan member Kendall Jenner’s turn as a Pepsi-wielding protester had some on social media decrying the imagery as appropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position,” PepsiCo Inc. said.
The “Live for Now Moments” video released Tuesday had Jenner in a platinum wig on a photo shoot when protesters amble by. She rips off her wig, smears away her lipstick and joins them, eventually handing an officer on the demonstration line a can of Pepsi. He gulps some down and then grins as Jenner dances off with her new friends.
“Pepsi” began quickly trending online, CBS News reported.
Reaction on social media ranged from some saying the imagery was tone deaf to it evoking a widely circulated photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans last year in Louisiana. Evans was detained when she approached police at a demonstration in Baton Rouge.
PepsiCo had previously said the ad would “be seen globally across TV and digital” platforms, and had stood by the ad late Tuesday.
“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,” the statement said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)