On Tuesday, Pepsi released a protest-themed ad starring Kendall Jenner, sparking widespread controversy throughout the Twitterverse. Social media users called out the company for its tone-deaf ad and the model for her participation in the faux protest for profit. Many were not amused by the company’s choice to use Jenner, as her family has mostly remained mum about the injustices against black and brown people in this country. However, Pepsi has since pulled the commercial and apologized to Jenner for the backlash she received.
Now, a source close to the situation has revealed that the ad was not supposed to air in the United States, only overseas, but once the Internet got ahold of it (thanks to Jenner and her mother tweeting the link to the new ad) that was all she wrote.
“This is the first controversial campaign she has been involved with,” sources close to the model revealed, adding that Jenner is “devastated” by the backlash. “Even though she had nothing to do with the production and the message of the campaign, she will be blamed for this since she is the face.”
However, the source says, “This is not a career breaker for her,” revealing that the model was paid millions of dollars to pretend to protest and drive the company’s message of global unity. But, her contract with the company prevents her from speaking on the controversy without Pepsi’s say so, the source says.
“The original intent of the commercial was to mirror all the global protests trying to make this world a more equal place for everyone,” the source tells ET. “But they should have had a celebrity face tied to it if they wanted to try to send a strong message like this.”
“Kendall relied on Pepsi to do their due diligence and trusted that it would be tasteful,” the source added, claiming Jenner had the right to approve or disapprove of the content.
Since the outrage, Jenner has deleted her tweets related to the commercial.