Why Kendall Jenner's Tequila Ad Is Catching Criticism

Kendall Jenner’s tequila brand, 818 Tequila, has officially launched, though it's not exactly receiving the warm welcome the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was probably hoping for. The 25-year-old supermodel launched the brand this week with an 818 Tequila ad campaign that is drawing fierce criticism from social media users, who are now accusing Jenner of cultural appropriation.

Ahead of the official U.S. rollout, Jenner promoted the brand with a promo video and photos from an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico. Sharing that she has had "an incredible experience… learning about this beautiful place, its beautiful culture, and the beautiful people." The promotional material for 818 Tequila, which is in part named after the Calabassas, California area code, shows Jenner riding a horse through agave fields, mingling with agave farmers, and wearing an outfit and hairstyle that some have said is traditionally associated with Mexican culture. Making the backlash worse is the fact that Jenner quickly disabled comments on her post.

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For many, the promotional material is a glaring example of cultural appropriation, with one person slamming Jenner in a tweet that read, "check out [Kendall Jenner] doing her best impression of a Mexican laborer! so refreshing to see that nepotism and cultural appropriation is still a profitable combo." Another person in disbelief labeled Jenner "tone deaf," tweeting that "this is so offensive. Modeling that chic migrant worker look for her tequila brand, watch her cry and say she didn't know later on for the 100th time." Somebody else said Jenner "coming out with her 'own' tequila is ultimate modern day colonizer vibes."

Another person shared a multi-tweet thread explaining the importance of tequila in Mexican culture and pointing out the many controversial aspects of Jenner's promo material. That person dubbed the ad "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)." They added that "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."

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At this time, Jenner has not responded to the backlash, which is similar to the backlash she received when she first announced in February that she would be launching her own tequila brand. Source told TMZ the ad was meant to "highlight the farmers doing the actual work to make the product."