Celebrity model Kendall Jenner is getting absolutely hammered for her new 818 tequila ad and is being accused on social media of “migrant chic” cultural appropriation.
Jenner promoted her 818 Tequila venture in a series of sleek photo and video promotions on May 17. The layout takes place in Jalisco, Mexico where she can be seen horseback riding, standing among agave plants, and drinking tequila from a regular glass and not as a shot. She’s dressed in a cotton shirt, jeans, and a cowboy hat while wearing braids. Alongside Jenner are Mexican farmers with tools who are working the fields.
Tequila is part and parcel of Mexican culture. The town of Teuila, Jalisco, is widely considered the drink’s original birthplace. Tequila is made through an intensive process by farmers who back-breakingly harvest agave plants that can take as long as eight years to mature. Jenner’s brand has been questioned over whether she’s making money off those who are actually eeking out a living by farming.
Jenner commented on it on Instagram stating: “What an incredible experience i have had thus far, learning about this beautiful place, it’s beautiful culture, and the beautiful people! @drink818 has launched in California… we will be rolling out to the rest of the US all summer long, keep a look out!!!” She has turned off the comments on the post because of severe backlash.
(Video Credit: Clever News)
Kendall Jenner has been in hot water before for so-called cultural appropriation and/or tone-deafness. She notoriously appeared in a Pepsi commercial concerning police brutality where she offered an officer a Pepsi to end protests. She has also sold vintage tees with her face covering those of Biggie and Tupac and she has worn her hair in cornrows. All of those moves have previously had social justice warriors in an uproar.
A number of her fans pointed out that actor George Clooney was not criticized when he launched his own tequila brand, Casamigos. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, and a number of others have come up with their own tequila brands and have received little condemnation for it.
Other celebrities such as Johnny Depp have also been accused of cultural appropriation.
Reportedly, the campaign has infuriated Jenner’s fans. A number of people called her tone-deaf and accused her once again of cultural appropriation over the ad.
“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME,” tweeted one person. “Leave it to Kendall to be as tone-deaf as possible, this is so offensive. Modeling that chic migrant worker look for her tequila brand, watch her cry and say she didn’t know later on for the 100th time.”
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME…..leave it to Kendall to be as tone deaf as possible, this is so offensive. Modeling that chic migrant worker look for her tequila brand, watch her cry and say she didn't know later on for the 100th time 🙄😠 pic.twitter.com/7n4VypvSVv
— ARS (@ESNYstylessa) May 18, 2021
Another remarked: “Me as a Mexican, im begging yall that live in the US to DO not consume Kendall Jenner’s tequila because what she’s doing is called Cultural Appropriation making it hers. Listen to us Mexicans when we tell you that this is wrong. Is our culture and we don’t want a white woman+”
Me as a Mexican, im begging yall that live in the US to DO not consume Kendall Jenner’s tequila because what she’s doing is called Cultural Appropriation making it hers. Listen to us Mexicans when we tell you that this is wrong. Is our culture and we don’t want a white woman+
— rex is zayn’s bestie ! 🇲🇽🇵🇸 (@talkfastloueh) May 19, 2021
“Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way..like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots,” another woman responded.
Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way..like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…
— LaMesaQueMasApluada (@estyledesma) February 17, 2021
Jenner was ripped even further over the perceived slight:
not kendall jenner acting like she’s from the rancho just bc she made her own tequila 😩✋🏽
— ezzy (@evmeralda) May 19, 2021
kendall jenner can go to hell with this blatant explotation of the stereotypes of indigenous women from mexico pic.twitter.com/JkKvg4k8EH
— Soraya Montenegro (@mottisjandra) May 20, 2021
Kendall Jenner, appropriates Mexican culture for profit, buys a tequila brand, tries to “look” Mexican in her ads. Meanwhile Kendall’s Parent: pic.twitter.com/zxywXPnF7y
— Gorda🌙⁷ (@gordacorajuda) May 20, 2021
I can see the pain in this old mans eyes Kendall Jenner pic.twitter.com/FRNnL2iaF9
— psycho cupcake (@stoned69) May 19, 2021
Kendall Jenner only worked on this new tequila she’s making for 4 yrs, yet call it the best tequila she’s had? Homegirl didn’t even have the audacity to wait the 6-8 yrs to see to process of how agave is grown & labored. The disrespect!!Anyways stick to buying ur local Tequila.
— Romee. (@romarioooa) February 17, 2021
But some people came to the model’s defense:
— Natalie Marie (@NattyJo43) May 18, 2021
Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila is no different than George Clooney’s Casamigos or The Rock’s Teramana
— Iris (@irisdeadlyvirus) May 17, 2021
I get why Kendal shouldn’t own a tequila & I’m for it BUT why don’t y’all have that same energy with every celebrity who owns a tequila that isn’t Mexican ????
— Anita life🎥 (@Anitaalife) May 20, 2021
The drink is on sale in three varieties: añejo, reposado, and Blanco. It was released in limited production in California and has already sold out of stock. However, there are plans in play to make it available throughout the United States by the summer of 2021.
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