After being dragged by Black Twitter over the weekend, The Gap apologized for their recent kids active wear line that features a Black girl being an armrest for a taller white girl. The ad boasts, “Girls can do anything.”
In a statement to Co.Create, the clothing company said they are replacing that image with one that is empowering for all of the girls in the image. “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,” Gap spokeswoman Debbie Felix.
She added, “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.”
As previously reported on Hello Beautiful, the GapKids x ED Ad were part of a collaboration with Ellen Degeneres that aimed to promote gender equality and self-esteem. But as Twitter pointed out, these ads did the exact opposite.
This incident underscores the importance for companies, especially those who are high-profile, to have more diversity at the top whose opinions have weight and when they speak to something being potentially offensive, people actually listen. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but big ups to The Gap for not being defensive and trying to “whitesplain” why these ads are not problematic. Thanks for listening and swiftly swapping out the image.
In the end, no one, regardless of race, should be anyone’s arm rest. Period.