Target has come under fire for featuring a white model in a campaign to promote its new “Annie for Target” clothing line because the actress who plays “Annie” in the latest movie is black.
Yahoo Parenting reports that one 8-year-old biracial Annie “super fan” saw an ad online, which featured a white girl wearing Annie’s iconic red dress and locket outfit, and said to her mum: “That’s not what Annie looks like. How come the new black Annie isn’t good enough? Does that mean I’m not good enough?”
The mum, LaSean Rinique, was so taken aback by the campaign that she created a petition on Change.org calling for Target to “immediately pull” the “misleading ads” and issue an apology to Quvenzhané Wallis, who is the star of the new movie. Rinique claims that while the online ads do feature a diverse selection of models, the in-store ads only feature white girls.
The petition, which had more than 9,500 supporters at the time of writing, states: “Why does [sic] African American actors have to beg for respect, especially as it relates to advertising? When does it stop? Target it should stop now with this petition! Despite most beliefs, African Americans are capable of portraying more than drug dealers, pimps, and other bastardized portrayals of our culture. Gone are the days that African Americans sang or read lines from behind the scenes while our counterparts lip synced and was viewed as the stars. Quvenzhané Wallis earned that role and we demand your respect.”
People have also been complaining and expressing their surprise about Target’s choice of models for the Annie marketing campaign on Twitter.
A Target spokesperson told New York Magazine that girls from a variety of different backgrounds were featured in the campaign, reflecting that “anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie.”
The statement continues: “As for the involvement of Quvenzhané Wallis, we had conversations with her team about being in the campaign, but ultimately it did not come to fruition. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of working with Ms. Wallis a number of times, including appearances at Target’s sales meeting in September and a launch event in New York City in November. We had a great experience working with Ms. Wallis and appreciate her efforts in promoting this collection.”
Here’s another marketing image for Target’s Annie clothing line, which shows a variety of models.
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