Kendall Jenner is facing some major backlash for her latest tequila ad, in which she’s already disabled the comments on her post, as many accuse her of being ‘tone deaf’ and ‘cultural appropriation’ — let’s get into it.
Three months after announcing the launch of her very own tequila brand 818, Kendall took to her social media account on Monday to let fans know that her tequila bottles are now officially available in stores across the state of California and that they’ll be rolling out to the rest of the U.S. this summer. However, many people did NOT raise a glass to Kendall’s latest news, especially after watching her new promotional ad for the product, which has resulted in very intense backlash.
In the video, we see several Mexican farmers working hard in the agave fields while Kendall walks through the fields with a tequila bottle and struts on horseback while posing and smiling for the camera.
Kendall is also seen with her hair in a couple of braids while wearing a hat and a blouse that resembles a rebozo, which is a Mexican shawl, and completed her look with a pair of what seems to be handcrafted earrings.
After Kendall’s promos went live, many people, especially Mexican and Mexican-Americans, were enraged with what they had seen and took to Instagram to accuse her of cultural appropriation as well as “tone-deafness”… only to find out that she had already disabled the comments.
Because the comments were turned off, upset users then turned to Twitter to voice their heartfelt opinions on the matter, tweeting out things like: “Not Kendall Jenner disabling her comments on the post of her appropriating our culture for her tequila launch.”
And another person went straight to the point, tweeting, “Kendall Jenner from her position of privilege doing a commercial of her tequila, wearing similar clothes and braids very common to the Mexican stereotypes of indigenous women.” As well as “leave it to Kendall to be as tone deaf as possible.”
However, it’s worth noting that not everyone in the Mexican and Mexican-American community feels the same way, as there were members of these communities who celebrated Kendall’s new tequila venture. Some people showed their support, explaining that Kendall is creating jobs in Mexico — however, the situation is a bit more complex than that.
As shared by some users, we have to keep in mind that there are often agave shortages — which is the plant used to make tequila — and foreign investors usually drive up the cost of the raw materials, as they have deeper pockets, which in turn risks putting local tequila distilleries out of business or makes them vulnerable to being exploited by foreign brands.
While Kendall and the tequila brand have yet to address the issues at hand, some other Twitter users are comparing this controversy to Kendall’s infamous 2017 Pepsi commercial, labeling it as equally tone-deaf.
Fans may recall that other celebrities like The Rock, George Clooney, and Nick Jonas each launched their own tequila brand and hardly drew any criticism with their release, which is something a number of social media users pointed out.
However, users also pointed out that they believe these stars took a more traditional approach honoring the Mexican culture by naming their tequila instead of Kendall naming hers after a Californian zip code, which was one of the many reasons people called her out. Should Kendall release a statement addressing the criticism, we will do our best to keep you updated.
For more on Kendall, stay here to see what she had to say about social media and mental health. And also, be sure to let us know in the comments your thoughts on everything we covered in this blog post.