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Kendall Jenner's Pepsi protest promo sparks backlash

An advertisement showing Kendall Jenner using a can of Pepsi to calm tensions between activists and police is facing a backlash.

The two-and-a-half minute Pepsi advert, which features the song Lions by Bob Marley's grandson Skip, is set at a rally where people are carrying signs saying "peace" and "join the conversation".

In the longer version of the advert, a man playing the cello and a woman photographer are shown joining in, escaping the frustration of their daily lives and becoming part of the group protesting about an issue which is not entirely clear.

Jenner, 21, is busy modelling in a silver dress but, after making eye contact with the musician, she rips off her blonde wig, hands it to a lady standing beside her and joins the march.

Then she walks right up to one of the watching police officers to hand him a Pepsi - which he gulps as the crowd cheers.

Critics on social media accused Pepsi of using protest movements such as BlackLivesMatter and opposition to Donald Trump to sell drinks.

The choice of the multi-millionaire white supermodel Jenner as peacemaker also caused anger, with one Twitter user writing: "So when has Kendall Jenner ever spoken out about any social justice issue? Like, ever?".

Another wrote: "Kendall Jenner understands the struggle like only a 21-year-old millionaire can".

The sight of Jenner approaching the police officers echoes the famous photo of protester Ieshia Evans who stood, peaceful and still, in front of police officers during a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July last year.

But, unlike Jenner, Ms Evans, a nurse, was arrested for obstructing a highway.

Twitter users sarcastically congratulated Jenner for so effortlessly ending the tensions between police and some US communities with just a can of soft drink.

One wrote: "Kendall Jenner hands cop a Pepsi. Cop: I'm not racist anymore".

Another said: "How nice of Kendall Jenner to stop in the middle of her photo shoot to end social injustices by giving that cop a Pepsi. MLK who? Rosa who?"

 

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