Pepsi pulls Kendall Jenner protest ad after uproar

On-Set With Kendall Jenner on February 4, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Brent Lewin/Getty Images for Pepsi

After initially standing by a controversial ad featuring Kendall Jenner, Pepsi has pulled the commercial and apologized. 

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the beverage company said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

The ad was mocked after it invoked protest imagery and showed Jenner making peace with police officers by offering a can of Pepsi. It’s unclear what the people are protesting -- they hold signs that say “Join the conversation” while others simply have hearts or peace signs on theirs. 

The two-minute spot focuses on Jenner in the middle of a photo shoot, donning a platinum wig, as protesters walk by, piquing her interest. Finally, she tears off her wig and joins them before confronting an officer with soda. When he takes it, everyone present smiles and cheers. 

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., posted a photo of her father on Twitter standing off against police during a protest and wrote, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” 

The ad was particularly derided for echoing Black Lives Matters protests, left-wing activists against President Trump and the iconic photo of Ieshia Evans standing off against officers in riot gear in Baton Rouge. 

Jenner has stayed mum since the controversy exploded on social media, but up until then, she said in now-deleted tweets that she was excited for the ad’s release.

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