Kendall Jenner is accused of cultural appropriation for launching a tequila brand… as social media labels her a ‘colonizer’ with no knowledge of Mexican culture
- The 25-year-old model announced the launch of her own tequila brand – 818 Tequila – on Tuesday
- She has since caught backlash online with some social media users deeming it cultural appropriation
- Kendall chose to name her Jalisco, Mexico-based tequila brand after her Calabasas roots, utilizing the area code ‘818,’ which has been slammed as ‘white-washed’
Kendall Jenner is under fire yet again for what many are deeming a racially insensitive business venture.
The 25-year-old model announced the launch of her own tequila brand – 818 Tequila – on Tuesday, saying that she spent ‘four years’ trying to create the ‘best tasting tequila’ on the market and finally did it.
Despite praise from her famous inner circle, an overwhelming amount of LatinX and Mexican social media users are not happy, and she has been accused of being a ‘colonizer’ and cultural appropriation in the process.
However, George Clooney and The Rock, who have also launched their own tequila labels, have not faced the same criticism.
Under fire: Kendall Jenner, 25, has been accused of cultural appropriation with the launch of her latest business venture – a tequila brand dubbed ‘818 tequila’ which has outraged many members of the LatinX community
Mexican-based: She announced that she had been working for ‘four years’ to create the ‘best tasting tequila’ on the market and the product is small-batched in Jalisco, Mexico
Tequila production and sales has traditionally been hailed as a mainstay livelihood in parts of Mexico and is often a multi-generational family business.
The ‘agave azul’ plant needed to make tequila has also grown weaker in recent years due to over farming, requiring the use of more pesticides and herbicides to protect the plant, which also means more labor.
Kendall chose to name her Jalisco, Mexico-based tequila brand after her Calabasas roots, utilizing the area code ‘818,’ as one called the tequila ‘white-washed.’
Furthermore it has been noted that the tequila company has been quietly entering and winning competitions for years, but has left the founder’s name off the entries per twitter user Yashar Ali.
An insider also shared with DailyMail.com that 818 Tequila is currently undergoing a rebrand with regards to its advertising assets. The original images were called ‘problematic,’ and a source alleges there were field-based images of Kendall with local farmers in Mexico.
Calabasas born: Tequila production and sales has traditionally been hailed as a mainstay livelihood in parts of Mexico and is often a multi-generational family business, making Jenner’s venture a far cry away based on her Calabasas roots
In secret: It was noted that 818 Tequila has been quietly entering and winning competitions for years but has left the founders name off entries
Social media users have been quick to slam the eldest Jenner sister, as one user called the venture the latest on the ‘Kardashian/Jenner colonization list.’
Another outraged fan wrote, ‘the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visits Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…rubs me the wrong way.’
Others were quick to call it ‘gentrification,’ adding that Jenner has ‘zero knowledge on Mexican culture,’ also slamming her for the fact that she could not describe the flavor profile of the liquor.
‘They’re both strong but this is a little less strong,’ she said in her video, also drinking it on ice despite the tequila reportedly being ‘the best tasting.’
No knowledge: Twitter users were quick to also point out the fact that she had no idea how to descriptively describe the Tequila flavors in her post where she was seen saying ‘this is a little less strong’
Colonization: This is just the latest venture of Kendall’s that has been referred to as ‘colonization’, with one user citing sister Kim Kardashian’s ‘Kimono’ scandal before renaming her line SKIMS
No knowledge: Others were quick to call it ‘gentrification,’ adding that Jenner has ‘zero knowledge on Mexican culture’
Back breaking work: One user with ties to Tequila laborers said she and her family were far removed from the ‘back breaking work in the fields’
One tweet was quick to cite that the family had seemingly learned nothing from their various missteps over the years.
They recalled sister Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line mishap where she tried to call the line Kimono before changing it to SKIMS, after it angered the mayor of Kyoto and much of the Asian community.
They also recalled Kendall’s infamous Pepsi ad where she seemed to end racial tension by offering a soda to an officer during a protest.
So, ‘Kendall Jenner is ending racism with Tequila now,’ the tweet read.
Another called her an ‘unseasoned white privileged rich girl from Calabasas,’ begging the question, ‘couldn’t you have started wine company instead?’
Another fail: One twitter user cited her infamous Pepsi campaign as they wrote that she was now ‘ending racism with tequila now’
Support local: LatinX users were quick to urge people to support smaller family owned businesses who had been doing it for years
‘White privilege’: A less kind user called her an ‘unseasoned white privileged rich girl’
Outraged: Instagram account Diet Prada also aggregated a slew of user comments surrounding the matter
And another said Kendall could never understand the ‘back breaking work in the fields,’ families had been doing for generations in Jalisco, instead profiting off of the workers busting their butts for a small paycheck.
Popular fashion-centric social justice account Diet Prada also aggregated a slew of unhappy comments from users.
One user was quick to point out that her label was not even correct and seemed to continue to reflect her lack of knowledge.
In line with the proper usage of the Spanish language, the label should read ‘tequila blanco’ not ‘blanco tequila.’
Kendall announced the venture on Instagram with a series of photos and videos of her alleged multi-year process, including videos of her pals cheering her on upon presenting the final product.
Grammatically incorrect: One user was quick to point out that her label was not even correct and seemed to whitewash the product. In line with the Spanish language, the label should read ‘tequila blanco’ not ‘blanco tequila’
Exploitation: It has been said that she is likely underpaying the hardworking producer in Jalisco
Distillery visit: She visited Jalisco a few weeks ago with sister Kylie and her friends for what can be purported as a distillery visit
Secret venture: Fans first suspected something was in the works with regards to the KarJenner clan and tequila when they began seeing 818 Tequila bottles cryptically in the back of photos
‘I’ ve been on a journey to create the best tasting tequila. after dozens of blind taste tests, trips to our distillery, entering into world tasting competitions anonymously and WINNING..3.5 years later i think we’ve done it!’
Her mom and sisters were quick to gush over the product and all of her hard work – just another cash cow venture for the famous family.
Momager Kris Jenner wrote ‘Kenny! I am so proud of you and the years of work and love you’ve put in to @drink818.’
Kim said that though she does not drink, this ‘has me drinking. It’s the smoothest tequila I’ve ever had!’
Though it is currently not available for purchase with the site’s page writing ‘come again soon,’ the tequila has blindly won various spirit awards.
Meanwhile, Clooney was not slammed when he started Casamigos tequila nor was The Rock targeted for coming out with Teremana Tequila. That means criticism for Jenner could be viewed as sexist.
Stay out of it: One tweet was quick to cite that it seemed the family had seemingly learned nothing from their various missteps over the years, citing Kim’s KIMONO scandal and Kendall’s Pepsi venture
Family support: Momager Kris Jenner wrote ‘Kenny! I am so proud of you and the years of work and love you’ve put in to @drink818’, and it has blindly won multiple spirit awards with no mention of the founder attached
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