Pepsi announced Wednesday it was pulling a controversial ad starring the model Kendall Jenner one day after it debuted.
The beverage giant said it was removing the ad and halting the rollout of the campaign.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding,” the company said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”
Pepsi also apologized “for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
In the commercial, Jenner rips off a blonde wig to join a multicultural group of young people holding signs with feel-good messages like “join the conversation” and “love.”
Walking through the group, Jenner grabs a Pepsi and hands it to a stone-faced police officer watching the protest. He breaks into a smile, and the crowd cheers. The screen reads: “Live bolder. Live louder. Live for now.”
The commercial immediately sparked backlash when it was released on Tuesday, with people saying it was tone deaf and co-opted imagery from a Black Lives Matter protest.
EVERYONE: well at least 2017 can’t possibly get any more tone-deaf
AD EXEC: hold my pepsi pic.twitter.com/RYh4bIVKNM
— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) April 4, 2017
So all us dark people have to do is convince a cop that the Pepsi we’re holding isn’t a gun.
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) April 4, 2017
Critics included Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
Pepsi has removed the commercial from YouTube, but you can watch the full ad here: