One day after a torrent of criticism about its ill-advised ad starring Kendall Jenner, and an absolutely brutal tweet from Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter herself, Pepsi announced on Wednesday that it was pulling the ad.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” the corporation said in a statement. “We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
That “position” consisted of having Jenner attempt to solve police brutality by handing a can of Pepsi to a cop and, more broadly, co-opting the spirit of political engagement and protest that’s swept the country since the election to sell caramel-colored death.
Bernice King, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, reminded us of the stakes for people actually putting their bodies on the front lines in the name of civil rights in a tweet on Wednesday:
Minutes after the news broke that Pepsi was pulling the ad, a link to the video on YouTube had gone dead.