Kendall Jenner joins celebrities who launch their own brand of tequila and are rained with criticism


By CAPosts 26 February, 2021 - 04:19pm 143 views

Almost immediately after posting a fun-filled Instagram ad that revealed his new tequila brand, 818, Kendall Jenner began to receive harsh criticism.

While many friends, fans, and family praised the model's new business venture, which he kept a secret for almost four years; Many critics on social media say that Jenner has no right to enter the tequila-making industry because she is non-Mexican.

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Critical comments ask Jenner to give credit to the distillery in Jalisco where his tequila was made. Also, that it gives recognition to the workers involved in the elaboration of the drink. He even received accusations of cultural appropriation

We nor anyone else can decide that when someone non-Mexican makes tequila it is a cultural appropriation

But looking for more information on the subject, we spoke with Marie Sarita Gaytán, associate professor of sociology and studies genre and author of ¡Tequila !: Distilling the spirit of Mexico . She shared her thoughts on the criticism; and in particular why the outrage against Jenner's company is so prominent. In fact, the model is the latest in a long line of non-Mexican celebrities to make her own tequila.

© Reuters. Kendall Jenner's tequila unleashes criticism of cultural appropriation Kendall Jenner is far from the first non-Mexican celebrity to launch a brand of tequila

Before, the most prominent tequila company launched by celebrities is Casamigos , by George Clooney and Rande Gerber. They made their brand in 2013, eventually selling it to Diageo for $ 1 billion in 2017 . Many other celebrity-endorsed tequila releases followed.

For example, Michael Jordan and a group of four others set out to create a tequila that would suit their palates in 2019. Others like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson , Nick Jonas , Rita Ora , rapper E-40 , Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar ; AC / DC , Justin Timberlake and Sean "Diddy" Combs also put their names and faces on the Mexican drink.

While Jenner clearly did not start the tequila-making trend; it is also obvious that she is being criticized more visibly than the rest of them.

Gaytán points out the inconsistency of reactions to tequila by Kendall Jenner

Gaytán, a tequila expert, says that the issue is not simple and the debate does not have a clear answer.

“As my colleague Paisley Rekdal, author of Appropriate: a provocation , these debates are too often framed in terms of right or wrong, good or bad '; he told Insider via email. There is always more for them. These issues are thorny. ”

Also, the author recalls that the tequila brands launched by other non-Mexican celebrities —before Jenner— did not get the same response. "When people express outrage over Kendall Jenner's tequila, I wonder why there hasn't been the same reaction to the launch of brands by Justin Timberlake, Nick Jonas or Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson?" Gaytán suggested that some critics will use the idea that Jenner is "in it for the money" as a motive to attack her business. But she says the reasoning "just isn't enough [because] everyone's in it for the money."

In addition, she noted that "there was hardly any mention of cultural appropriation" surrounding Clooney and Gerber's Casamigos sell-off. But it suggests that Jenner's gender may have something to do with the reaction.

Jenner joins Rita Ora (who is a partner in a Mexican distiller rather than a brand owner) and Bethenny Frankel (who started her SkinnyGirl cocktail brand with a margarita) as one of the few women in the tequila field of celebrities. Of the three women and their companies, Jenner and her brand 818 are arguably the most visible.

"When women 'go out of bounds', whether in politics, business or, in this case, culture and entrepreneurship, it touches a nerve," said Gaytán. "That, to me, is a much more interesting story."

Mexicans and Mexican Americans React Against Kendall Jenner

Tequila Also, time is a factor, and many may see Jenner's tequila launch as the last straw. It would be the most recent case of cultural appropriation; both by Jenner and her family, specifically, and by wealthy and powerful individuals in general.

“In the case of tequila (and similar products of national origin), accusations of cultural appropriation appear to occur when a celebrity of a cultural origin different (that is, not Mexican) acquires or founds its own brand, ”said Gaytán.

added that “to some extent, everyone participates in cultural appropriation. Everyone. This does not mean that the effects of the appropriation of a cultural product are the same: power, access, representation, all these dimensions are at stake. ”

He even told Insider that one root of the outrage is that the products and Mexican culture (like tequila) seems to have more value in the United States than Mexicans .

"For Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the United States, it certainly hurts to see another non-Mexican capitalizing on their culture," Gaytán said. Why could it hurt? Well, to begin with, even as I write, true Mexicans — mothers, fathers, children — are in cages; placed there by the United States government. That couldn't happen in a country that respects Mexicans as humans. ”

Does Jenner's audience care more about denouncing issues of cultural appropriation than Jordan's or Clooney's audience? Perhaps

.While timing and gender may be factors here, I'd say the audience is another that could be just as powerful.

Consider how different Clooney and Gerber's audience is from Jenner's. When they dated Casamigos in 2013, their celebrity friends promoted the drink. The price was perfect for any adult who wanted to buy a tequila that would connect them with the smooth freshness of Clooney.

Jenner's fanbase - Gen Z and millennials - may be more in tune with themes of cultural appropriation. They weren't (and still aren't) exactly the target market for other tequila brands

But Jenner's entire brand as a millennial is based on that demographic. Their audience is largely (though not exclusively) made up of millennials and Gen Z. They are active on social media and deeply concerned with issues related to racial equity. And they are not shy about denouncing cases of cultural appropriation when they see them.

It is common for the movements of the Kardashian-Jenner family to be put under a microscope

Kendall is not the first of her famous family to be criticized for a business decision or face accusations of cultural appropriation .

Kim Kardashian West's skims were originally called Kimono. But she was criticized for appropriating the name of the traditional Japanese garment and changing it.

Kylie Jenner received criticism for acting in the "WAP" music video for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Many called the cameo "unnecessary" in a video that otherwise celebrated "black female excellence."

And several family members, including Kylie , Khloe, and Kendall herself, were accused of appropriating hairstyles traditionally blacks . Kim was even criticized for the cover of Paper magazine, which critics say was inspired by racist images .

In the end, Jenner launching a brand of tequila is no more of a problem than Casamigos or any of the previous releases. And it's important to consider why people now just say that this is cultural appropriation. But Jenner's reps declined to comment when contacted by Insider.

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Source: MSN