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Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter delivers ice-cold response to Pepsi ad
You know you’ve messed up when a member of the King family comes for you.
Pepsi just cut its new advertisement, which featured Kendall Jenner co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement and solving police brutality with soda, but not before Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter weighed in.
On Wednesday, April 5, the company announced that after receiving considerable backlash on its new campaign, Pepsi removing all iterations of the commercial completely. A statement from Pepsi tweeted by Wall Street Journal reporter Jennifer Maloney reads:
“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. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Despite the brand’s fervent response, it would appear the mockery is far from over. People are still dragging the commercial on Twitter. Some have turned the commercial’s message into a meme, suggesting that if the black men and women who have been brutalized by police had offered the officers Pepsi soda (and been attractive white women) they could have averted the confrontation—a joke that reveals the ignorance of the company’s message. The most iconic response, however, came from someone whose family understands better than most that no soda can change the heart of power-driven police.
Less than an hour before Pepsi published its statement and pulled all clips from their YouTube channel, Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., shared her own take on Pepsi’s attempt at promoting “unity, peace and understanding.”
Tweeting a photo of her father linking arms with other black men as a cop pushes his chest and others attempt to break their human chain, King wrote, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.”
That’s how you drop a mic.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.