Gap’s recent apology over their controversial kids’ ad — which was accused of racism by the Twitter community — is a smart move.
While we don’t believe the clothing giant is guilty of racism, they made the right public relations decision to discretely apologize after they tweeted the below ad on April 2. This particular image is one of several in a campaign featuring celebrity Ellen DeGeneres and the pre-teen dance group Le Petit Cirque.
Several people in the Twitter community lambasted the Gap for what they deemed was a derogatory position of the lone black girl in the ad.
“Gap Kids proving girls can do anything… unless she’s Black. Then all she can do is bear the weight of White girls. #EpicFail” writes one user.
Another user writes: “Thanks for perfectly illustrating what ‘passive racism’ looks like in mainstream media. #DiversiryFail She is NOT your arm rest.”
The conversation about this ad went on and on, yet what makes this claim of racism unfounded is the fact that the ad isn’t being viewed within the context of the entire Gap Kids campaign.
See below for a similar image used in the campaign that shows a taller black girl using a white girl as an arm rest. If the first ad implies that the taller white girl is more powerful than the smaller black girl, then surely this ad implies the reverse? No?
“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,” says Gap representative Debbie Felix. “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.”
Wise move Gap, now only if other brands would follow your lead.