Why people are so angry about Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi advert

A new Pepsi advertisement starring Kendall Jenner has been accused of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement

A new Pepsi advert starring Kendall Jenner is attracting a lot of heat today for all the wrong reasons.

The advert shows Kendall Jenner breaking off from a photo shoot to join a street protest, before weaving through the crowd, giving an African-American man a cheerful fist-bump and handing a policeman a chilled can of Pepsi.

The advert, released this morning, has attracted criticism for its flippant take on the often violent relations in America between police and protesters, particularly protesters of colour.

A study last year by the University of California showed that the probability of being unarmed and shot by police is 3.49 times higher if the unarmed person is black. Movements such as Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the unprovoked shooting of African-American teen Trayvon Martin, have focused on police brutality and racial profiling in America.

So it’s unsurprising, given this context, that the Pepsi advert been slated for its apparently tone-deaf use of the protester/police dynamic to peddle soft drinks.

Many Twitter users have responded with dark humour by posting pictures of police abusing people of colour with pleas to Kendall to ‘give him a Pepsi’, or juxtaposing images of Kendall in the advert with images of real protests.

Pepsi and Kendall Jenner have not yet responded to the criticism.

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