Kendall Jenner accused of cultural appropriation with launch of tequila brand
Television personality, Kendall Jenner has come under fire after announcing the launch of her tequila business.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star has been accused of cultural appropriation after confirming that her tequila brand, 818, would launch this year after four years of development.
Celebrities launching their own alcohol brands is not new, but Jenner’s brand seems to have attracted a lot of negative publicity.
818 is named after the area code of Calabasas, California, the upmarket neighbourhood where she and her family live.
Taking to Instagram this week, Jenner wrote of the new business venture: "For almost 4 years I’ve been on a journey to create the best-tasting tequila. After dozens of blind taste tests, trips to our distillery, entering into world tasting competitions anonymously and WINNING … 3.5 years later I think we’ve done it! This is all we’ve been drinking for the last year and I can’t wait for everyone else to get their hands on this to enjoy it as much as we do!” she added. “@drink818 coming soon.”
However, while some of Jenner’s friends congratulated her, others accused the model of appropriating Mexican and Latin culture.
“Tequila production is traditionally a family business in Mexico. I think it's disgusting that another rich white celeb is appropriating Mexican culture with the audacity to think you’re making it better than Mexicans,“ commented one user.
Another user wrote: “Your family usually steals from Black culture. You decided to switch it up and steal from Mexican culture. Innovative.”
One tequila fan also criticised her for drinking the spirit with ice, which dilutes the flavour, saying they were more inclined to support homegrown tequila companies.
“I know who I will be supporting and it won’t be a rich model whose contribution to the craft was tequila tasting ... nah I will support the authentic soul and people who actually can call it theirs.”
Another user questioned what percentage of the profits the crafters were going to see.
“Here we go, another foreigner coming to Mexico and exploiting little nameless local producers, by paying them 1 per cent out of their real profit”, while another said: "I wonder how much they are really going to make compared to the millions YOU will profit!"