Kendall Jenner has come under fire on social media over her new tequila brand, 818, after fans accused her of appropriating Mexican culture.
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star took to Instagram earlier this week to announce she had launched her own tequila, in a project that had been four years in the making. Along with a gallery of photos with the spirit, the 25-year-old wrote:
“For almost 4 years 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! This is all we’ve been drinking for the last year and I can’t wait for everyone else to get their hands on this to enjoy it as much as we do! @drink818 coming soon 🥃🤤”
The brand already has close to 400k Instagram followers and counting, with many of Kendall’s famous family and friends congratulating her in the comments
But others fans were less impressed, questioning whether Kendall was “exploiting Mexican culture” for her own gain by launching a tequila.
Tequila typically comes from Jalisco in Mexico and is made through a time-intensive process that sees farmers harvesting agave plants – which can take up to eight years to mature. Which is why Kendall has come under fire, with some questioning if she is gaining the profits from those who are actually partaking in the process, and how she is claiming something from Mexico as her own.
And not to mention profit off the brown hands that actually plant, grow, harvest ferment and distill the agave plants in Jalisco
— LaMesaQueMasApluada (@estyledesma) February 17, 2021
Kendall Jenner starting a tequila brand, with zero knowledge on Mexican culture and calling it “818 tequila” is GENTRIFICATION. The 818 does not claim Calabasas. What about those smaller, family owned Mexican tequila/mezcal brands? They deserve the hype & support.
— Jennie Molina (@jenjocelyn) February 17, 2021
Kendall Jenner only worked on this new tequila she’s making for 4 yrs, yet call it the best tequila she’s had? Homegirl didn’t even have the audacity to wait the 6-8 yrs to see to process of how agave is grown & labored. The disrespect!!Anyways stick to buying ur local Tequila.
— Romee. (@romarioooa) February 17, 2021
One critic wrote on Twitter, “Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way..like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots. And not to mention profit off the brown hands that actually plant, grow, harvest ferment and distill the agave plants in Jalisco.”
Someone else pointed out that Kendall’s tequila might overshadow local Mexican artisans, while another alleged that the problem is that “Pretty much all tequila is made in Jalisco, Mexico, [so] basically Kendall Jenner is taking a Mexican product and claiming it as her own.”
So far, Kendall or the Kardashian-Jenners haven’t spoken out about the criticism. Some fans have jumped to her defence and questioned why the likes of George Clooney, who also has his own tequila brand Casamigos, didn’t face the same backlash.
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