Latinos are not very happy with Kendall Jenner right now, and no one is surprised. The 25-year-old socialite and media personality is being accused, once again, of cultural appropriation, this time for an ad campaign she is featured in for her new liquor brand, 818 Tequila, which she launched in California this week.
Critics are calling the campaign tone deaf. It was shot on an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico, and shows Jenner riding on horseback through agave fields, drinking tequila on the back of a shoddy pickup truck and portraying what some people feel is her take on what a “migrant” or “indigenous” woman looks like.
The ad campaign also features real agave farmers working and drinking alongside Jenner, which struck many people as her profiting off the hard labor of the Mexican farm workers.
On her social media, Jenner says she has had an “incredible experience…learning about this beautiful place, its beautiful culture, and the beautiful people!”
One TikTok user pointed out all the cringe-y elements of one of the campaign’s photos of Jenner: “This pickup truck – the window’s broken and it is sealed with duct tape, along with the botas (boots), that fake-ass tan, the trenzas (braids), the earrings, just everything.”
It’s nothing new for a non-Latino celebrity to release their own brand of tequila. Everyone from George Clooney to Dwayne Johnson to Justin Timberlake have done it. Some would argue that those celebrities, too, are appropriating a culture that is not theirs. But like she usually does, Jenner seems to have pushed her branding a bit too far.
Maybe she should just stick to solving racial injustices by drinking Pepsi instead.