DUBAI: Earlier this week, an image of US model Kendall Jenner wearing a face mask and holding up a Photoshopped Black Lives Matter protest sign began circulating online.
Critics were quick to point out that Jenner wasn’t actually holding a sign, as it was not visible in the shadow behind her on the ground. People were quick to accuse Jenner of being dishonest and suggested that the model Photoshopped it herself as protests continue around the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
This week, the half-sister of Kim Kardashian West decided to take to social media to set the record straight and confirm that she has nothing to do with the image.
“This is photoshopped by someone. I DID NOT post this,” wrote the 24-year-old model on Twitter.
this is photoshopped by someone. i DID NOT post this. https://t.co/nQ7uNnGB20
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) June 6, 2020
Many fans came to the reality star’s defense and even managed to uncover the original photo, which shows her without a face mask and holding a water bottle, not a sign, in the air.
While it is uncertain as to whether or not Jenner has attended any of the protests in her hometown of Los Angeles thus far, the model has shown solidarity for the movement and explained that she is working on becoming a better ally.
“To everyone reading this and to myself: keep researching, reading and educating yourself on how we can become better allies,” wrote Jenner on Instagram alongside a series of images relating to the civil rights movement.
View this post on Instagram
to everyone reading this and to myself: keep researching, reading, and educating yourself on how we can become better allies. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past few days and my heart has been so heavy. I’m angry and hurt just like so many. I will never personally understand the fear and pain that the black community go through on a daily basis, but i know that nobody should have to live in constant fear. I acknowledge my white privilege and promise I will continue to educate myself on how I can help. raging on platforms can not be all that we do in order to repair the system, we need to take real action, off of social media. this is a time to have those uncomfortable conversations with people and mainly with ourselves. we must also make sure we are ready to vote when the time comes to elect the right people into office. the one truth that will always ring loudest is that BLACK LIVES MATTER. rest peacefully George Floyd and all victims of this horrible injustice
“I will never personally understand the fear and pain that the black community go through on a daily basis, but I know that nobody should have to live in constant fear. I acknowledge my white privilege and promise I will continue to educate myself on how I can help.”
The caption concluded with a heartfelt dedication to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police ignited the worldwide protests. “Rest peacefully George Floyd and all victims of this horrible injustice.”
The model’s statement came shortly after several online slammed Jenner for keeping silent years after her controversial protest-themed 2017 Pepsi advert.
In Pepsi's "Jump In" commercial starring Jenner, the model throws off her blond wig before joining a crowd of demonstrators. But rather than protesting, she takes a Pepsi can and hands it to a police officer as a peace offering, while the crowd cheers behind her. The ad was widely denounced and almost immediately pulled from TV.
Pepsi regretted the commercial and apologized for “putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
— everett byram (@rad_milk) June 3, 2020
Now, some marchers are using the ongoing protests as an opportunity to further roast Jenner’s revoked Pepsi commercial.
At a June 2 demonstration in Los Angeles, comedian Everett Byram re-enacted the catwalk star’s widely mocked commercial by approaching an LAPD officer while holding out a can of soda.