Kendall Jenner Faces Backlash Over Tequila Brand
Once again, a Kardashian-Jenner family member is the face of controversy
Model Kendall Jenner announced on Instagram that she is launching 818 Tequila, a tequila brand named after the Calabasas area code. In the caption, she wrote “For almost 4 years I’ve been on a journey to create the best tasting tequila. […] 3.5 years later I think we’ve done it!”
Before the official announcement, some may have noticed an 818 bottle popping up in the background of Instagram posts, particularly during a Kardashian-Jenner family vacation to Mexico. During that trip, one of the stops was Jalisco, the tequila capital of the world – and also the hometown of Kendall’s new product.
However, it did not take long for criticism to arise. It seems yet again; a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is accused of profiting off of other cultures. Some social media users have pointed out that the launching of 818 is just another example of white celebrities profiting off other cultures. One Twitter user explained that foreigners source tequila-making products in Tequila, Mexico, yet pay Mexican workers exploitative wages and fail to acknowledge the history and culture behind the spirit. Another user writes, “Kendall Jenner starting a tequila brand, with zero knowledge on Mexican culture and calling it “818 tequila” is GENTRIFICATION.”
Lucas Assis, an L.A. bartender and craft cocktail expert, explained in an Instagram video why people should not buy tequilas owned by celebrities. He explained “these tequilas are killing the industry. They just reach out to a factory, the factory sends the samples they have, they put their name brand on the bottles and market it at whatever price they think will sell.”
In response to the announcement of 818 Tequila, Twitter and Instagram users have been working to compile lists of Mexican-owned tequila brands to support instead of 818.
Kendall Jenner is yet to respond to the controversy.