After Kendall Jenner launched her tequila brand, 818 Tequila, in May, she faced (very reasonable) criticism over an advertisement that relied on the appropriation and stereotyping of Mexican culture.
In the ad, Jenner is seen riding a horse—with her hair in braided pigtails, of course—through an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico, where the 818 Tequila distillery is located, before sharing her liquor with indigenous farmers. And naturally, the caption along with the ad read:
“What an incredible experience i have had thus far, learning about this beautiful place, it’s beautiful culture, and the beautiful people! @drink818 has launched in California... we will be rolling out to the rest of the US all summer long, keep a look out!!!”
Wow, there must have just been SO much beauty! Such beauty that obviously no other words would suffice!
During a Tuesday appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jenner very casually and naturally explained that her tequila brand—which she described as an “approachable and aesthetically pleasing and socially aware and gender-neutral” tequila brand “for [her] generation” was actually giving back to the community of Jalisco, Mexico. How shocking, to see a celebrity attempting to respond to criticism over their actions without actually acknowledging the criticism itself.
“At our distillery, which I was just at the other day, we found a way to take the agave waste — the agave fibers and the water waste — and build this sustainable brick that we are actually donating back to the community of Jalisco,” Jenner told Fallon. According to Jenner, the brick is being used to build “homes for people that need homes” and has been used to build a “half-built hospital” in Jalisco.
Jenner also says that 818 Tequila had partnered with the organization called 1% For the Planet to—you guessed it—donate 1% of their profit to “planet-saving initiatives.” Wow. One whole percent?????????????? That must have really been a sacrifice for a member of the Kardashian clan who, at last estimate, had a net worth of $45 million.
This is clearly a picture-perfect example of how to meaningfully give back to a community while relying on the likely exploitation of their labor to produce your entirely unnecessary brand of alcohol. Cultural appropriation where??
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