Earlier this afternoon, Pepsi pulled its controversial new commercial starring Kendall Jenner, in which the model joins a protest and hands a cop a peace-making Pepsi—a particularly tone-deaf way of addressing current issues of police brutality and political unrest.
The company apologized in its statement, saying, "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."
Jenner has not yet spoken about Pepsi's decision or the ad's backlash, though she did remove the tweets she posted yesterday promoting it, along with the Instagram of her behind the scenes.
ET reports a source familiar with Jenner's Pepsi deal says Jenner is "devastated" by the backlash. "This is the first controversial campaign she has been involved with," the source explains. "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." The ad, the source claims, was only supposed to air overseas and not in the U.S.
Jenner was reportedly paid millions for the commercial, the source says, and has an agreement with Pepsi that prevents her from commenting on the fallout without Pepsi's approval. According to the same source (who is anonymous, remember, so we can't be sure how much they actually know!), she also had the right to approve the ad before it was released in her contract, but "Kendall relied on Pepsi to do their due diligence and trusted that it would be tasteful." Welp.
"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 says. "But they shouldn't have had a celebrity face tied to it if they wanted to try and send a strong message like this."
Meanwhile a source (cough, Kris Jenner, cough) confirms to TMZ that Kendall "had no involvement in the creative process" for the commercial:
Our sources say she signed on to do the gig and with no knowledge of the marketing vision ... she just knew the brand was big. She clearly knew the story line once she got the script, but the creative was already a done deal.