Extra Credit Blog
GapKids and Ellen Degeneres recently put out a new ad campaign featuring a dance troupe of young girls, in what was meant to be an inspiring and empowering campaign. The print ad was perceived as being racist by many, while others didn’t even think twice about it.
Let’s try to be subjective first. Just take a look at this photo without thinking about race and tell me what’s wrong with the picture.
To me , I didn’t see anything wrong with this photo at first. The clothing itself wasn’t offensive, and there was no text with the ad that could be construed as distressing or upsetting. It wasn’t until I read online articles about the controversy that I could see why some people were upset.
The argument is that a.) She’s the only black girl in the photo, and b.) she’s being used as a “prop”, basically an armrest for the older, white girl. The other three girls are striking powerful poses.
Did that change your point of view? It definitely swayed me more in that direction. It’s GapKids immediately pulled the ad and issued an apology:
“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,” said Gap spokeswoman Debbie Felix (Fox News)
Their PR team was quick to jump and respond, as we’ve learned we should be. Do you think the picture itself is racist? How do you feel about the picture? Should GapKids PR team have caught this issue before it was published? Let me know below