Ad made to look like it was filmed in U.S.A.
Last week, Pepsi received massive backlash from people on the left and right with an ad that starred Kendall Jenner.
Those on the left claimed the ad made light of the Black Lives Matter movement while the right stated it put cops in a bad light.
Pepsi pulled the ad in less than 24 hours. Now one of the extras in the ad spoke with People magazine and said the majority of the actors were foreign and that he, being from Thailand, did not understand the significance of the ad.
Here’s the ad:
In the ad, Jenner, who plays a model, stops mid-photo shoot to join a bunch of protesters galavanting around police officers. She decided to make peace by offering a Pepsi to one of the cops, who accepts it after a few seconds.
The soft drink company stated:
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize,” a Pepsi spokesman said. “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.”
Pepsi shot the commercial in Thailand, even though it looked like it took place in America:
A production coordinator, who did not work on the Pepsi commercial, tells PEOPLE the decision to shoot overseas was likely “so that the extras would be cheap.”
The actor, who asked People to keep him anonymous, explained that a lot of the extras came from Thailand and other countries. The actors did not realize the ad caused an uproar until they read the news:
“People say things to me like, ‘Why am I in the commercial?’ and say that it is really offensive,” he says. “It’s like, I was just doing my job. They asked me to be in the commercial.” He also adds that Pepsi officials discussed the direction for the ad with him beforehand, and he understood it to depict a message of “unity.”
“The commercial had hip-hop dancers and we were all together as humans,” he says. “I think they tried to show the meaning that people from every country can be together. That’s what I had understood, but maybe now I’m misunderstanding.”
He also said that if he lived in the U.S. instead of Bangkok then he would feel bad. But since he did not know, he doesn’t “feel bad.”
Jenner, who made her name on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has not publicly spoken about the ad, but sources close to her described her as “mortified” and did not mean to offend anyone:
“She has been very upset. She feels terrible. She loves being a model. To get a Pepsi gig was a big deal. She was very excited. She never expected it to receive such backlash. She hopes people understand that she wasn’t involved in the creative process.”
“Kendall loves modeling,” the source adds. “She just wants to do a good job. She has no desire to be a part of something controversial. She is very aware of the backlash and [is] not happy. They are coming up with a plan on how to deal with it. She has been talking to [her mother Kris Jenner] about it.”
She also deleted tweets about the Pepsi ad.DONATE
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