Madonna threw some shade at Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad controversy

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I was just a kid when Madonna’s controversy with Pepsi happened. I thought about Madonna’s Pepsi moment while I was writing about Kendall Jenner and that terrible Pepsi ad yesterday, but I didn’t mention it. I should have. I should have looked up the controversy, because I didn’t remember all of the details. What happened was that in 1989, Madonna signed an extremely lucrative deal with Pepsi. They sponsored her Like a Prayer Tour and they would use “Like a Prayer” in their ad campaigns, starring Madonna. Madonna debuted the video for “Like a Prayer” which involved her kissing a black man – representing a Jesus-y figure or saint – on the mouth. Once the video came out, religious groups went crazy and called the whole thing blasphemous. Pepsi ended up pulling their Madonna ads and they no longer sponsored her tour. But I also think Madge got to keep the initial ad-campaign money, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, Madonna wants you to know that she’s enjoying the Kendall Jenner-Pepsi controversy. She posted the Instagram above and she also posted a clip from the Kendall commercial, writing: “When you wake up and realize that Sh-t just really doesn’t make sense! 😔#chosen 📸Side Note: My Pepsi commercial was pulled 30 years ago because I was kissing a black saint! 👼🏾 #ironic.”

So now you know where Madonna stands: on Team Coke. As for the dueling controversies 28 years apart… I do think it’s interesting to think about the changes in our culture and how things are perceived. A few years ago, I watched the video for “Like a Prayer” and seeing it with fresh eyes after all this time… all I could think was “this is not controversial in the least.” But I remember the freak-outs from the religious groups back then. As for Pepsi’s current controversy… this thing was not as big as the Madonna issue whatsoever.

Billboard Women In Music 2016

Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.

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25 Responses to “Madonna threw some shade at Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad controversy”

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  1. Sassback says:

    You know that Shade Court on Jezebel would throw out your use of the word “shade” as “not shade” being that Madonna threw shade but then directly referred to her own Pepsi controversy, thus stating definitively she was talking about Kendall’s ad.
    edit: I do think it’s funny that really, when it all comes down to it, none of these people drink soda unless, maybe, if it’s in a cocktail. Any time they carry a soda, very likely someone paid to put it in their hand. The ad itself doesn’t sell the soda because I think people deep down know that drinking Pepsi doesn’t make them like Kendall Jenner, so talking about the ad is what gets people talking about the product.

    • JellyBeans says:

      How good is shade court?! I though of it also as soon as I read the title of this article.

      • Sassback says:

        Love love love Shade Court. Amazing. Just anyone using the term shade now immediately gets me analyzing if it’s shade or not.

        Technically, I think this was a case of Madonna attempting to throw shade with that pic and failing because she zoomed up on the soda can, then of course, the post about her own ad just killed it.

      • mermaid says:

        Shade court is fantastic, Kara Brown is a wonderful comedic writer.

      • LadyMTL says:

        Shade Court is AMAZING, you must check it out (if you haven’t already).

    • Scal says:

      I LOVE shade court.

      And yes-if madonna had just posted the image with no comment or just I’ve been enjoying coke foe 20 years-it would have been shade. But her being her-she had to post the ‘I had a Pepsi ad to’

    • JackieJormpJomp says:

      Right. She aaalmost had shade–but she ruined it by spelling it out.
      Not shade.

    • Emma33 says:

      Hahaha…had never heard of shade court until 10 mins ago, but it is hilarious!

  2. Claree says:

    Well of course the current controversy isn’t as big a deal as Madonna’s Pepsi commercial – things are ALWAYS a bigger issue when conservative/religious groups become involved. If the Kendall Jenner commercial had included imagery that offended the conservative/religious sensibilities THEN we’d see true backlash.

  3. Skins says:

    Who is she kidding? She would love that kind of publicity

  4. Nancy says:

    Try topping Michael Jackson’s hair on fire pepsi commercial Madge. She reminds me of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane now, rather sad….looking back when she was considered so controversial, and now she’s basically…well basic.

    • Dolkite says:

      Anyone remember that bizarre promo MTV used to run in the mid-1990s with older actresses playing a bedridden Madonna (still in a corset) being served a rat by a fat, middle-aged Courtney Love (in a babydoll) a la “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

  5. QQ says:

    You Know what, Madge Sweetie??.. KEEP IT, This is why you help no causes ever cause you come with your thirst for attention to make the wrong most lowest common denominator point about the thing.. Per Usual

  6. Wilma says:

    Is she supposed to look like a geisha here?

  7. Spiderpig says:

    It’s very sad that a white woman kissing a black man is more of a “scandal” (or a scandal at all) than a racist ad campaign.

    • LVD says:

      If that was the scandal, then I agree that it wouldn’t be a big deal today. But I thought it had more to do with the song being about sexual innuendo and kissing a religious figure. I think that would maybe still be controversial today.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      There were also burning crosses and stigmata on hands. I was a little kid, but from what I remember, it wasn’t like she was kissing a saint. It was like she was getting it on with Jesus. It didn’t offend me, but I remember the outrage. I think part of that outrage was that people were freaking out that the Jesus figure was black, not white.

      • Anon33 says:

        The religious figure being black was DEF a part of it. I remember specifically because my cousins and I watched a lot of MTV in those days and my grandmother was one of the ones that was “appalled” and tried to get our parents to stop letting us watch.
        It was about all those other things mentioned for sure, but it was one hundred percent also about race.

      • Dolkite says:

        Wasn’t it as much about race as religion? It’s late and I don’t feel like rewatching the video, but wasn’t there a shot or two of the black guy (played by Leon, who has appeared in many movies and TV shows since) running from the KKK or the cops?

  8. Chetta B. says:

    Eeesh!! All I’ve got to say is holy face-fillers, Batman! Back away from it, Madge.

  9. Gracey says:

    Something tells me that the people making the bad comments about Madonna (calling her an attention whore, saying she’s not important, and making fun of the way she looks) were probably born after 1980. Those of us who knew her music and influence at its heyday get her, and her message, in ways that seem to fly right over your heads.

    • Shiba says:

      As a teenager, I spent New Year’s eve at the Roxy with Jellybean d.j.-ing,
      watched “Like A Virgin” on the MTV awards in 1984,
      am a feminist.

      It’s correct that Madonna’s eau de desperation doesn’t make her
      irrelevant or any less

      It does make her almost unwatchable.