Kendall Jenner managed to become the first model since Cindy Crawford to have a Pepsi Global campaign, but her excitement has quickly faded after facing major backlash over her latest advertisement. The model and reality star is reportedly “devastated” by the negative criticism she received for the commercial.
The video advertisement featured Jenner joining in a protest and easing tension with police by handing one of them a can of Pepsi. It was immediately slammed online for appropriating and trivializing social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter and for its tone deaf attempt to appeal to a diverse audience. While Jenner was initially “honored” to be the face of the ad, she later deleted all of her tweets promoting it.
“This is the first controversial campaign she has been involved with,” a source close to the star said. “Even though she had nothing to do with the production and the message of the campaign, she will be blamed for this, since she is the face.”
According to the source, Jenner has not publicly addressed the fiasco due to an agreement that will not allow her to comment on it without Pepsi’s approval. While Jenner allegedly had approval rights in her contract, the source maintained that she “relied on Pepsi to do their due diligence and trusted that it would be tasteful.”
It wasn’t. In fact, it was met with such public disapproval that Pepsi was forced to pull the advertisement on Wednesday and issued a formal apology to Jenner.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the 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.”