Gap Misses The Mark with New Controversial Ad
Gap’s most recent effort to be more diverse has fallen flat thanks to a new ad and commercial.
The controversy comes from a new campaign from GapKids X ED, Ellen Degeneres’ clothing line with the company, that features the tagline “‘We all have the power to empower one another.” Harmless enough right? That is until consumers pointed out that one of the ads features a little black girl being used as an armrest for her white teammate.
meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything.
— GapKids (@GapKids) April 2, 2016
The girls from La Petit Cirque are the only all-kid humanitarian cirque troupe in the world and were chosen to be part of the campaign, which could have been adorable were it not for the racial insensitivity of it all.
Making matters worse, the release of the commercial only made the racial component more glaringly obvious. The same little black girl from the print ad is the only one who doesn’t speak during the brief spot.
Take a look at the commercial in question below:
While Gap’s marketing team may have overlooked the negative way the campaign could be taken, Twitter did not take the misstep lightly:
— Fatima La'Juan Muse (@TheTherapyDiva) April 2, 2016
— Fatima La'Juan Muse (@TheTherapyDiva) April 3, 2016
— Isoke Fanaka (@soulzilla) April 2, 2016
@GapKids someone needs to get fired. it was ignorant in the first place to have 1 token black girl, then you make her the arm rest?
— La Única (@KALIUCHIS) April 3, 2016
@GapKids so basically little black girls can be arm rest!!! smh this is disgusting
— W eird O (@4everKelz) April 3, 2016
@GapKids exactly one black girl can be used as an arm rest and have no other visible skill!!
— Skeletor (@QueerGhoul) April 2, 2016
@GapKids the best way to lose the black demographic. Making your only black model an armrest 😒
— Stevie W (@steviegenesis) April 3, 2016
A spokesperson for GapKids, Debbie Felix, told DailyMail, “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.”
She continued, “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.”
At the time of this article’s publication, the image was still posted on the GapKids Twitter account and no new image has been released.
Photo Credit: Twitter