Last night’s season premiere of Keeping Up with the Kardashians revealed little about the rumored pregnancies of Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian, but one member of the family did get real — and Kendall Jenner. In the 14th season premiere episode, Jenner sobbed over the Pepsi commercial controversy she was involved in, revealing that she never intended to hurt anyone by participating in the ad.
Jenner hasn’t spoken out publicly since appearing in the controversial Pepsi ad, which debuted in April and was met with swift backlash on social media. Critics and viewers alike slammed the Pepsi commercial for simplifying social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and implying that Jenner (a wealthy, white supermodel) handing a police officer a Pepsi would solve relations between police officers and people of color. It was insensitive and tone deaf, and much of the criticism fell on Jenner.
And now we have a glimpse as to what she was thinking as the controversy unfolded.
Jenner first explains why she wanted to star in a Pepsi ad, revealing: “It’s a huge company. The people I was following…Michael Jackson’s done it. Britney Spears has done it. Beyoncé has done it. Pink…I trusted everyone. I trusted the teams. But after I saw the reaction and I read what people had to say about it, I most definitely saw what went wrong.”
She didn’t specifically call out the reasons why the ad was offensive by name, but tearfully said: “I would never purposely hurt someone ever…If I knew this was gonna be the outcome I would have never done something like this. It was so […] I just felt so fucking stupid.”
Regardless of what happened, it seems as though Jenner genuinely understood what was so problematic about the ads after critics voiced their anger, and it also seems as though she did not take the hurt or outrage lightly. It’s an unfortunate way to learn a major life lesson, but we’re glad that it seems Kendall genuinely did learn.
Her public platform gives her the opportunity to make a difference in the world, and we’re hoping she embarks on her next major projects with newfound sensitivity and thoughtfulness.