Like the generic protest signs from the varied millennials in that infamous Kendall Jenner ad, Kim Kardashian is finally going to “join the conversation.”
At this point, Jenner’s Pepsi commercial, once called “So Tone-Deaf It Hurts” by HuffPost’s own Cole Delbyck, is universally seen as a bad idea. In the ad, which was released in April, Jenner joins a crowd of “protesters” and hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer, seemingly as a peace offering.
The officer smiles, the crowd loves it: World peace achieved!
Many criticized the ad for its portrayal of police and protester relations, as well as the company for trying to capitalize on the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-Trump protests in order to sell soda. Whether it was the intention or not, images of the commercial and actual protests put side-by-side are hard to ignore.
In a statement, the company said, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.” The ad was pulled within 24 hours of its release.
Reactions from Jenner and the Kardashians have been scant, but while talking to Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” Sunday, Kim Kardashian, Jenner’s older half-sister, opened up about the controversy.
“She totally understood at the end of the day, and she felt really awful for it, and she just wants to move on from it,” she said.
The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star said she didn’t see the ad until it had already received the backlash. She adds, “Any time someone does anything, they don’t have bad intentions of doing it a certain way. Especially Kendall’s so sensitive, she would never mean for anyone to perceive anything in a negative way.”
Jenner obviously didn’t think the ad would get such a strong response. Before the backlash, the model told Women’s Wear Daily, “The whole concept is really something that I’m about, so it was just fun to be a part of.”
It’s probably safe to say her feelings have changed.