GAP Under Fire For “Racist” Ad Featuring A Single Black Girl As A Prop
After going under fire for a controversial racially charged tweeted advertisement, GAP INC has since deleted Ellen Degenre’s Gap Kids X ED clothing line’s ad, which features child acrobat team Le Petit Cirque. The masses claim the photo—who only features one black model and three white ones—perpetuated racism, as the black girl was used as a prop, while the others were actively posing. Along with the photo, the tweet read: “Meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything.”
Apparently, the backlash was so strong on Twitter, that it spurred the company to not only extract the tweet, but also release a statement apologizing for the photo.
“As a brand with a proud 46-year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we’ve offended,” a spokeswoman for the Gap said, reports WWD. “This GapKids campaign highlights true stories of talented girls who are celebrating creative self-expression and sharing their messages of empowerment. We are replacing the image with a different shot from the campaign, which encourages girls (and boys) everywhere to be themselves and feel pride in what makes them unique.”
Here are some of the comments that folks on Twitter spewed regarding the issue.
— Janice Deul (@JaniceDeul) April 3, 2016
You seriously think this ad demonstrates empowerment? Diversity? Equality? I only see proof of racism. https://t.co/EfBoVB2Nmh
— ibuprofen (@valentinacheese) April 3, 2016
The new #GapKids is a clear example of how white supremacy is coded into all facets of society, including our visual language.
— Emily Wehby (@EmilyLWehby) April 3, 2016
Yet like any other controversial conversation, there is always another side. Filmmaker Mathew Cherry brought up the argument in reverse, sharing a side by side image of a similar ad with a black girl using a white one as her arm rest, questioning if that ad should be perceived as racist too.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 3, 2016
Still, people weren’t siding with Cherry’s point of view.
— Shantal Nev (@ficklemuse_) April 4, 2016
A new tweet features a video with Ellen and the children, reminding that this campaign was made to, “motivate young girls–and boys–to celebrate what makes them unique.”
girls can do anything. and these kids are here to prove it.
— GapKids (@GapKids) April 1, 2016
Lastly, another tweet which is on the Gap Kids Twitter pages showcases various images assembled together with the problematic image as a part of the collage.
meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything.
— GapKids (@GapKids) April 2, 2016
How do you feel about Gap’s latest campaign? Take a look at one of the original videos for the advertisement featuring Ellen and the girls below.