Print Edition - 2017-04-06  |  Life & Style

Jenner’s Pepsi ad criticised for co-opting protest movements for profit

- The guardian, LOS ANGELES

Apr 6, 2017-

Pepsi faced a backlash on Tuesday after releasing an advertisement in which reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner uses a can of the sugary beverage as a peace offering to police during a protest.

The ad has been criticized for seemingly co-opting the resistance movement while framing a privileged, white 21-year-old supermodel with a can of soda as a peacemaker between civil rights activists and police.

The ad, soundtracked by Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley, shows Jenner walking out of a photo shoot decked in double denim to join a protest where activists of all ethnicities carry signs bearing peace symbols and messages.

As Kendall Jenner picks up a can of liquid corporate America and approaches the menacing line and hands it to the most photogenic officer. It’s a clear nod to iconic protest images such as the serene woman at Baton Rouge following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by police and the anti-Vietnam war “flower power” protester placing carnations in rifles.

The police officer hesitates for a moment before accepting the peace offering and opening the can of soda. The moment is captured by a hijab-wearing photographer, who appears awed by Kendall’s radical act of bravery. The crowd goes wild; Jenner has clearly restored peace and justice to America. Finally, thanks to her and Pepsi, all is good in the world.

On Tuesday, Pepsi said: “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.”

Published: 06-04-2017 08:49

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