Someone tried recreating the controversial Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad in real life — and it turned out just as well as the tone-deaf commercial.
After recent protests over the fatal police shooting of African-American teenager Quanice Hayes, all was unusually calm and quiet at the Portland, Oregon, city council meeting until a man, who was supposed to testify on derelict boats but instead went off on another tangent and began criticizing unruly citizens, ran up to the city officials with his hand in the jacket.
The moment caused a brief panic among the council members, prompting two police officers at the back of the hall to approach the protester.
However, as it turned out, there was nothing to worry about, because the man, identified as Carlos Enrique, was just trying to give Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler a can of Pepsi.
“It made me kind of wonder, how could someone just endure people coming and berating you every week?” he asked the board as he moved towards the mayor. “The language of the resistance has not been properly translated to you. So this is for you.”
Like the offensive commercial, which was pulled amid backlash, this real-life Pepsi revolution was not appreciated by the officials.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said the mayor, appearing a little nervous. “Not a good move! Don’t do that again. Not a smart move.”
Wheeler further added, “If this were the Boston City Council that would have ended differently.”
Two police officers then quickly intervened and escorted Enrique out of the meeting, according to The Oregonian.
“I’m a former journalist for the Boston Herald, so I’ve covered City Council quite extensively,” the Pepsi-wielding protester explained to the city council member. “I’ve just recently moved here and I have to say, I’m very surprised at how there’s so many people who show up to City Council and get angry at you and yell out you.”
He was referring to the protesters who have been disrupting these meetings for the past several months, often times yelling profanity and slurs. The situation escalated after Hayes' death, which prompted scores to take to the street, calling attention to police brutality. The demonstrations forced authorities to lockdown the city hall.
It is also pertinent to mention the Human Resources Department at the Boston Herald refuted Enrique’s claims, saying they have no record of a journalist on or a staff member with that name.
Whatever the truth might be, this stunt was just another example that social injustice and systemic racism cannot be solved that easily — especially not with a can of soda.
The incident takes places around 2 hour, 5 minute mark in the video below.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters