PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, has released an official statement on the controversial Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner.
Speaking with Fortune, Nooyi said “I’ve thought about it a lot because I looked at the ad again and again and again trying to figure out what went wrong — because it was a peace march, not a protest march. It was people in happiness coming together. I realized the scene that caused the most consternation was the final one when Kendall Jenner gave a Pepsi to the policeman, and it linked back to Black Lives Matter.”
“This has pained me a lot because this company is known for diversity, and the fact that everybody who produced the commercial and approved the commercial did not link it to Black Lives Matter made me scratch my head,” she added. “I had not seen that scene. And I take everything personally. The minute I saw people upset, I pulled it. And you know what, it’s not worth it. There were people on both sides, but at the end of the day, our goal is not to offend anybody.”
That final scene ultimately created an uproar throughout social media, with critics angry that the commercial seemed to generalize the problem of police brutality in America (as well as have some resemblance to images related to Black Lives Matter marches).
Following the backlash, the commercial was removed, with Pepsi releasing this apology: “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”