Pepsi released a commercial ad this week featuring model and Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner wandering into a protest and resolving the tensions by handing out Pepsi drinks.
The imagery was an homage to a popular #BlackLivesMatter photo.
And the world went awwwwwffffff!!
Pepsi faced immediate criticism and was violently, mercilessly and deservedly dragged on social media for launching this insensitive, racist campaign.
On Wednesday, Pepsi pulled the commercial and cancelled the remainder of the associated campaign. They issued the following statement:
Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.
Worst. Apology. Ever.
Let’s break this down.
Clearly we missed the mark and we apologize
- “Clearly” is passive-aggressive AF. Much like “basically” and “accordingly”, it is a rude word masking as authority and sincerity.
- You apologize? Or are you sorry? Cuz there is a difference. Apologies are usually for people who are mad that they were called out. Sorrys are for people who have actual remorse.
We did not intend to make light of any serious issue
- You didn’t??? Cuz it sure AF looks like you did.
- You didn’t make light of ANY serious issues, you made light of a very specific serious issue. And that issue is the murders of unarmed people of color by the police without appropriate review and justice. That is the very serious issue the carefully selected imagery you likely spent tens of thousands of dollars analyzing before you filmed, edited and launched this campaign very much made light of.
- If you weren’t intending to make light of the issue, what was your intention??? Inquiring minds really want to know. Cuz it looks like your for real were saying everything would be better if people would just drink more Pepsi and chill.
We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout
- That’s probably the only good thing you said … but the internet lasts foreverrrrrr tho. This isn’t going away just because the commercial stops airing.
- I can’t believe y’all admitted there was actually going to be more of this fuckery.
We also apologize to Kendall Jenner for putting her in this position
- Kendall Jenner and her family have been profiting from the cultural appropriation of Black people for DECADES now. I used to really luh the Kardashians so I know this is true. The “position” that she was in is one she and her peoples are quite comfortable with. And I’m guessing y’all won’t be taking back the money you paid her so she gon’ be aight.
- Kendall Jenner is NOT the one you offended. She willingly performed work that you paid her for. Apologizing to her with more specificity than to the victims of police brutality or to their families or to the people who are on the front lines fighting for justice shows that you still don’t get it and likely never will.
Woosssaaahhh!! This is why we cannot have nice things!!
There are lots of people out there who think Black people and other people of color are too sensitive on these issues.
Ffff that bull$#%&, yo!
We have been too tolerant for too long. And we’re long overdue to speak up and speak out on the foolishness we see.
It is time for people and companies to stop giving lip-service to diversity, inclusion, sensitivity, caring, support and consciousness — only to turn around and do stuff like this then issue half-azzed apologies.
If you’re going to do stuff, use your whole azz! And if you don’t have an azz, get some padding or an implant or something. There’s all kinds of help out there if your azz is lacking.
Kendall Jenner and her peoples can help you out with that if you need it. They know a lot about using their azz and padding it as needed.
I digress. Woosah!
Just do better … Do better. DO BETTER!!
What does better look like??
Well, in Pepsi’s case, it would have been using all that brilliant market research not to do this in the first place. It would have been better to know that imagery associated with injustice and oppression should never be white-washed to peddle soft drinks.
But once Pepsi failed at that, it would have better to give a full explanation of their thinking and a sincere apology to the actual people who were hurt by police brutality and whose images were re-purposed for their narrow agenda … It would have been better to offer donations to the related causes … It would have been better for Kendall Jenner to donate some if not all of her salary as well … It would have been better if Pepsi publicly committed to joining the fight for justice because of their error and used money from their sales to feed, bail out and defend protesters … It would have been better if Pepsi committed to working with organizations focused increasing socially responsible behavior and understanding.
That’s what doing better looks like.
So the next time you find yourself making an egregious error in judgment along these lines, don’t just issue a half-azzed apology and move on.
Use your whole azz. And do better.
There’s still time, Pepsi. I hope you do better … cuz we’d hate to have to give up the sugary, bubbly deliciousness of your beverage and subsidiaries.
Do better, Pepsi. Do better, everyone. The streets are watching.