Kendall Jenner Plans to Do More Than Just Shoot Pepsi Commercials, Wants to Become a Real Ally Amid George Floyd Protests
Remember back in 2017 when all the world needed was Pepsi to put an end to riots and tense racial situations? Or at least that’s what Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad made it seem like. Jenner has not been able to live down the tone-deaf ad since it premiered but now that racial tensions in the US have reached a fever pitch due to the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, Jenner is vowing to do more than just offer police cold beverages.
The infamous Pepsi ad
The ad began with a person opening a Pepsi can. Over the course of the ad, several people are shown throughout the city holding signs that say “Join the Conversation” and peace signs. As the protest goes on, Jenner becomes interested in it, joins, and effectively ends the battle between the police and the protesters by offering them a Pepsi.
People immediately began to criticize the ad, saying that it trivialized the Black Lives Matter cause and the plight of protesters. Pepsi immediately pulled the video.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize,” the company said in a statement at the time. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”
Elle Hearns, former organizer for Black Lives Matter, agreed that the ad was offbase.
“No one is finding joy from Pepsi at a protest,” she told The New York Times. “That’s just not the reality of our lives. That’s not what it looks like to take bold action.”
Kendall Jenner apologizes…kinda
Jenner addressed the issue on an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
“I trusted everyone. I trusted the teams,” she said to the camera. “But after I saw the reaction and I read what people had to say about it, I most definitely saw what went wrong. I was so stuck, and I really didn’t know what to do, that I completely shut down.”
She later discussed the issue with her sister, Kim Kardashian West.
“I just feel really, really bad,” she told Kardashian West. “Like, I feel really bad that anyone was ever offended. I feel really bad that this was taken such a wrong way. I genuinely feel like s*it, and I have no idea how I’m going to bounce back from it.”
Kendall vows to become an ally
Now that Black Lives Matter protests have become more prominent, Jenner is taking a different route to become an ally.
“To everyone reading this and to myself: Keep researching, reading, and educating yourself on how we can become better allies,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past few days and my heart has been so heavy. I’m angry and hurt just like so many. I will never personally understand the fear and pain that the black community go through on a daily basis, but I know that nobody should have to live in constant fear.”
This time, she recognized her privilege and outlined action steps that people could take.
“I acknowledge my white privilege and promise I will continue to educate myself on how I can help,” she continued. “Raging on platforms can not be all that we do in order to repair the system. We need to take real action, off social media. This is a time to have those uncomfortable conversations with people and mainly with ourselves.”