Pepsi is pulling its Kendall Jenner ad after the company faced backlash and ridicule from those who said it trivialized rights protests and public unrest in the United States.
The image of Jenner approaching the police clearly referenced the iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans, an 18-year-old black woman who stood tall in the face of heavily armored riot police during a Black Lives Matter protest following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by police in 2016.
Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whose assassination occurred 49 years ago on the day Pepsi's ad debuted, tweeted a picture of her father protesting as an officer's hand grips his chest, with the caption: "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi."
"Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize," the brand said in a statement. "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."