The commercial shows Jenner ditching a photo shoot to join a vague protest in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, where she presents a police officer with a can of Pepsi, eliciting a smile from him and subsequently cheers from the protesters. Pepsi has since pulled the ad and issued an apology. People spoke with an anonymous actor who appeared in the commercial about the backlash it has received.
“I don’t live in the U.S.A. Maybe if I lived there and knew the [issues] before then, maybe I would feel bad,” the actor told People. “But I didn’t know anything, so I don’t feel bad.” Since the commercial debuted earlier this week, people have been criticizing him, wondering why he took part in it. “People say things to me like, ‘Why am I in the commercial?’ and say that it is really offensive,” the actor explained. “It’s like, I was just doing my job. They asked me to be in the commercial.”
Even though the problematic nature of the ad is pretty much all its viewers have commented on, the actor maintains that he truly had no idea the project would send such a controversial message. He explained that Pepsi made it seem like the ad would “depict a message of 'unity,’ ” wrote People. “The commercial had hip-hop dancers and we were all together as humans,” he added. “I think they tried to show the meaning that people from every country can be together. That’s what I had understood, but maybe now I’m misunderstanding.”
He also told People that most of the actors and extras in the ad were not from the U.S. (many were from Thailand), which he implies may have accounted for them not foreseeing any issues with it.
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