Kendall Jenner just launched her 818 tequila ad campaign featuring a photoshoot from a Mexican agave farm. The model and reality TV star was quickly accused of cultural appropriation.
The series of Instagram photos showed her working with farmers in traditional clothing and hairstyles associated with Mexican culture.
She wrote in the caption:
"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!!!"
Critics viewed Jenner wearing the native attire as a costume for the campaign as being exploitative of the culture and disrespectful to the workers.
She was also criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and spreading misconceptions about Mexican culture with her "gentrified" tequila ad.
One Twitter user said native Mexicans don't always ride horses, wear their hair in braids, nor do the workers get to drink the tequila—as Jenner demonstrates in the photos.
The backlash apparently led to her disabling the comments on her Instagram post.
But that did not stop the criticism on Twitter.
Kendall Jenner deactivating the comments to not let people talk about the cultural appropriation https://t.co/RBQdUvsZF6— Fer 🦋🚀 (@Fer 🦋🚀) 1621279088.0
Kendall Jenner coming out with her “own” tequila is ultimate modern day colonizer vibes.— Maritza E 🍓 (@Maritza E 🍓) 1621302253.0
Not Kendall Jenner making a tequila brand, girl go make an egg nog company or whatever the white people created— Natalie Portman IV (@Natalie Portman IV) 1621322074.0
Kendall Jenner roamed through fields of agave on horseback to announce the launch of her 818 tequila brand in Calif… https://t.co/zmckIz6rS2— Lilian Chan (@Lilian Chan) 1621299582.0
I am literally begging latinx tequila drinkers to NOT buy the Kendall Jenner tequila. Please instead consider buyin… https://t.co/dhy2XdYir7— LatinXcellence 🔥 (@LatinXcellence 🔥) 1621460409.0
Twitter user @talkfastloueh wrote a thread discussing the problem with Jenner's tequila brand.
@talkfastloueh started the thread explaining tequila is a "traditional Mexican drink made from Agave, an endemic plant in Mexico" and that it was important "because no other country can produce Tequila."
"It's an important beverage that we use when we are happy, sad, celebrating, mourning, etc. and it's important for the country's economy."
"Many families, especially in Jalisco, Mexico, produce tequila for Mexican brands or even they have their own small businesses of tequila. Kendall Jenner coming to Jalisco and starting her tequila is making that many families lose their job to big names like her."
"Sadly in my country, workers aren't paid as much which means the production costs are way cheaper so don't be surprised if Kendall Jenner is not paying the workers a good salary."
@talkfastloueh I'm Mexican, living in Mexico and tbh when I saw Kendall's add my blood started to boil. This is obv… https://t.co/uEmbfwUYde— The really truly me (@The really truly me) 1621453750.0
@talkfastloueh There is one good reason not to buy this product: it comes from a celebrity.— Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian (@Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian) 1621469215.0
@talkfastloueh The Kardashian and Jenner family need to stop stealing from every culture and stick to their own 🙄— Demisdarling(Shay) (@Demisdarling(Shay)) 1621474101.0
"As I was saying, tequila is an important part of the country's economic growth, which means small business and big Mexican business are benefited by it. Kendall Jenner launching her tequila brand takes the opportunity for them to keep growing."
"In her post, she says that she's selling her tequila only in the US which doesn't make sense to only sell it there and not Mexico, the country that is giving you the resources to make the drink in the first place."
@talkfastloueh Not to mention, if she was truly about representing the Mexican culture she could’ve used her platfo… https://t.co/u7n6CTnuLP— Delania Smith (@Delania Smith) 1621485076.0
"Now, moving to her advertisement, it is a huge misconception of the Mexican culture. No miss Kendall, we do not ride in horses all the time, no we do not wear our hair in braids all the time, no workers do not get to drink the tequila (also that's not the way you drink it)"
"Workers do not work with that kind of clothes and finally, your advertisement is so whitewashed/California vibes. Jalisco is not California, so don't try to make it that way."
In conclusion, they asked readers to boycott her product.
"Me as a Mexican, I'm 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 profiting from our culture."
Mexican brands were listed as an alternative option.
+profiting from our culture. Here are some Mexican brands you can buy instead: https://t.co/SxYIKooG4a— rex is zayn’s bestie ! 🇲🇽🇵🇸 (@rex is zayn’s bestie ! 🇲🇽🇵🇸) 1621442741.0
According to TMZ the focus of Jenner's ad campaign was to show the farmers doing the actual work after Jenner was initially slammed for not crediting them when she announced her product.
Jenner has not publicly responded to the latest backlash.