Here's Why Pepsi's Commercial Featuring Kendall Jenner Is Receiving So Much Backlash

Newly released ad struck a nerve with the internet

By McKenna Aiello Apr 05, 2017 1:01 AMTags

Maybe Pepsi should have stuck with soda can emojis after all. 

Shortly after the soft drink giant released its "Live For Now Moments Anthem" commercial starring Kendall Jenner, the internet responded with resounding negativity.

In the two and a half minute ad, the supermodel is shown in the midst of a photo shoot while a protest takes over the nearby street. Kendall, intrigued by the marchers, removes a blond wig and wipes off  her dark lipstick to lead the pack approaching a line of police officers.

Jenner then hands a can of Pepsi to one officer as an apparent peace offering, who gladly cracks open the can and takes a sip. What follows is a celebration, with the protesters cheering and applauding the moment. 

Kendall Jenner's Street Style

But for some, the ad came off widely insensitive and too forced, especially given the current political climate.

It didn't take long for Twitter users to draw comparisons between the frame of Kendall coming face-to-face with the officer and a famous, award-winning photograph taken during a Black Lives Matter protest. 

Some critics believe Pepsi trivialized the recent resurgence in public protests, while others are concerned with how rival Coca-Cola must be feeling right about now. 

Pepsi broke their silence about the backlash with the following statement, telling E! News, "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."