Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad continues to garner social media backlash, and Madonna has recently joined the fray by throwing shade at the beverage company via Twitter, People reports.
Hours after Pepsi pulled the Kendall Jenner ad in response to the controversy, the “Material Girl” has taken to Twitter to express her disapproval of the company’s tone-deaf marketing strategy, sharing a throwback photo of herself holding a can of Coca-Cola. To emphasize her point, the photo offered a closeup of the red can and added a first place gold medal emoji.
— Madonna (@Madonna) April 6, 2017
Madonna, 59, who is no stranger to controversy, also got featured in a Pepsi commercial in January 1989. Just like with Jenner, the ad got pulled out following outrage over its content. There was nothing controversial about the ad itself when it was first released, at least not until Madonna released the full-length music video for “Like a Prayer” on MTV the next day. The music video, which showed burning crosses, a stigmata, and the seduction of a saint, caused huge outrage among religious groups and concerned citizens who thought it was part of the Pepsi ad.
Rarely is the internet united on a subject. But on one thing we all can agree: boy, was that Pepsi ad tasteless https://t.co/KYOojo2L0A
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 5, 2017
The Vatican and religious groups threatened to ban the ad and boycott Pepsi, forcing the beverage company to pull out the ad in April 1989. They also decided to cancel their $5 million endorsement contract with Madonna.
Many other celebrities aside from Madonna, including Lena Dunham and Martin Luther King, Jr’s daughter, also took up the call to criticize Pepsi for their self-proclaimed innocuous Kendall Jenner ad, as previously reported by Evening Standard.
Assuming everything that can be said about faux-test Pepsi ad has been said so I'm just gonna go with this: it didn't make me want Pepsi
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 5, 2017
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
— deray mckesson (@deray) April 4, 2017
Pepsi initially defended the commercial at first, explaining that they were trying to convey an important message.
“This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”
The Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad, entitled “Live For Now Moments Anthem,” featured the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star leaving a photo shoot (and taking off her blonde wig in a sorry attempt to rid herself of white privilege) to join a group of protesters who were suddenly stopped in their tracks by police officers, until Jenner comes forward to hand one of the police officers a can of Pepsi. The officer opens the can, takes a sip, and smiles, prompting protesters to erupt in cheers.
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) April 6, 2017
The social media backlash to the tone-deaf commercial came quick and brutal, with netizens criticizing Pepsi and Kendall Jenner for trivializing and capitalizing on the struggles of minorities, particularly the Black Lives Matter movement.
That Pepsi ad was ignorant
— Anayal8ter (@AnayaRoderick) April 6, 2017
even if pepsi had used a black/nbpoc face for that ad, it'd still be a flaming trash pile bc the revolution will not come from capitalism.
— jee jing (@shelovesdresses) April 5, 2017
next Pepsi ad: Taylor Swift hands a Pepsi to a black football player kneeling during the anthem. He sips, stands, and becomes J.J. Watt
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) April 5, 2017
After a day of internet backlash, Pepsi decided to pull out the ad.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding,” they explained in a 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.”
Jenner, for her part, decided to stay mum on the issue but deleted her tweets that made mention of her participation in the Pepsi ad. She left one tweet that had something to do with the brand — a throwback photo of Cindy Crawford wearing a Pepsi sweater. Crawford was a former Pepsi endorser.
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) March 30, 2017
Do you think the backlash against Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad has gone too far? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images]