New York — Model and Kardashian clan member Kendall Jenner's turn as a Pepsi-wielding protester has some on social media decrying the imagery as appropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Reaction on social media ranged from some saying the imagery was tone deaf, to it evoking a widely circulated photo of Black Lives Matter protester Leshia Evans last year in Louisiana. Evans was detained when she approached police at a demonstration in Baton Rouge.
In a statement late Tuesday night, Pepsi defended the ad.
"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 statement said.
The ad does not explicitly make reference to any movements or protests but the woman wearing a hijab with the songs about rights and prayer makes people suggest otherwise.
Responses on Twitter ranged from outrage to humour.
Jeff Marsh @Fidgeteur asked why Kendall Jenner did not get pepper sprayed
While Nikia Phoenix expressed that activism should not be commercialised.
Can someone explain to me what that protest is all about in that Pepsi commercial? Are they protesting ugly people? #PEPSI— Victoria B. (@BitchIsBack2017) April 5, 2017
WATCH THE AD: