Gap apologizes for controversial GapKids advertisement

Gap is apologizing for a recent ad campaign which has come under fire for being racially insensitive.

Gap posted a video, in collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres’ kids clothing line #GapKidsxED, and promptly tweeted about the campaign with multiple photos last Saturday. The photos showcased young girls holding acrobatic poses. One of the images (top right) drew negative attention on social media due to the fact a caucasian girl was resting her arm on the smaller African American girl – which some criticized for being racist.

Here are some of the Tweets in response to the photo.

Gap sent out a statement to Fortune apologizing for the photo. They said they intend to remove the image but won’t change the themes of the campaign.

“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 in a statement to Fortune. Gap says it intends to remove the one image that consumers found offensive. But it isn’t planning to back away from the broader themes of that campaign.”

The young girls from the campaign are part of the performance group Le Petit Cirque. In a twist, it turns out the girls featured in the ad are sisters and the daughters of the group’s founder Brooke Smith. Smith took to Twitter to clear up the misconceptions.

The criticism appears to be well-placed but doesn’t hold much merit considering the two girls’ relationship. The photo is unfortunate considering it can be perceived in a racially insensitive way, but Gap and Le Petit Cirque didn’t mean any harm. It’s just an unfortunate photo. Nothing more.

[Business Insider]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.