Here officer, have a Pepsi.
Hindsight: It’s 20-20! And it must be especially sharp today for Kendall Jenner and Pepsi, as they’re both experiencing the neither sweet nor fizzy taste of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth.
If you’re not living in a cave out of the range of cell service, you know by now that the global soda empire paid Jenner, a global celebrity, to be in a Pepsi commercial so comically tone-deaf and embarrassing, it’s been mocked around the world from the moment it was released (when it wasn’t also causing people’s eyes to roll out of their heads).
In case you haven’t seen it, the conceit is simple: Kendall Jenner is in a photoshoot, when she joins a vague protest nearby, gives a riot cop a can of Pepsi, and somehow negotiates a truce between everyone. It’s hilariously dumb and crass.
At first, Pepsi tried to defend its commercial with a trite statement to the press, replete with avoidable misspelling. Then it pulled the commercial and threw itself under the bus, attempting to save Kendall Jenner:
It’s almost noble, trying to save the caboose of the global celebrity you put at the center of one of the most historically idiotic advertisements to ever see the light of day.
For her part, Kendall Jenner has yet to say anything on the matter, though she did delete a couple Instagram posts.
She also had this to say to Women’s Wear Daily prior to the clip’s premiere (emphasis ours):
“I had never been to Bangkok before, so it was interesting to be in that city,” she says. “There were a lot of really cool people on set that I got to meet. It was fun, it was entertaining. The whole concept is really something that I’m about, so it was just fun to be a part of.”
“I think a lot of people are caught up in whatever’s happening in someone else’s life and they’re not really paying attention to what’s happening right in front of them most of the time,” she says. “It’s not hard to put your phone down and consciously try and get yourself to live in the moment. That’s what I try and do.”
Yeah, so: If this strikes you as typically nondescript celebrity-speak, well, it is! Celebrities are trained to give boring answers like this. Except what you have above is a ringing endorsement of the very thing Jenner clearly didn’t take a single second to think about (while cashing what was undoubtedly a pretty sweet paycheck). In other words, if Kendall Jenner tries to tell you she never backed the ad, stay woke, as it were.
Because, again, while she hasn’t yet issued a statement about the ad, she had no problem fav’ing a bunch of Tweets in praise of the ad on Twitter, either:
Oh, and one more thing: Yes, the ad was shot in Thailand. Here’s a look from behind the scenes!
Ah, Bangkok: A city in a country that, it’s been pointed out, has seen some upheaval in recent years!
Was pointed out out to me that Pepsi ad was shot in Bangkok. You know, Thailand. You know, an on again/off again military junta.
— Charlie J. Johnson (@Charliemagne) April 5, 2017
And, of course, a place where protesters have been killed by riot police, in a country where extrajudicial murder by the army is, let’s just say, a bit of a problem.
In other words, the cherry on top of this absolute, complete fiasco. And you thought it couldn’t get any better. Just wait until we find out that Steve Bannon once took a side-gig home-schooling the Jenners in Civics and Government. At this point, it’s not something you could entirely rule out.