FOREVER 21 just added itself to the list of companies in desperate need of melanin in their marketing department. The retailer caught tons of backlash for featuring a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white boy as the face of their Black Panther clothing campaign on Tuesday.
The ad that has been pulled by FOREVER 21 featured a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes modeling the Wakanda Forever Fair Isle Sweater that has a Black Panther mask pictured above the “Wakanda Forever” slogan on the front.
FOREVER 21 clearly didn’t see anything wrong with their decision when they tweeted an advertisement featuring the images on Tuesday, prompting an almost-instant clapback.
— Wheelchair Jerry (@BostonJerry) December 18, 2018
Forever 21 knows exactly what they're doing with that ghost in the shell man in the african kitty sweater and here ya'll go given them the attention they want
— cultured butter bae (@jilleeann_) December 18, 2018
— pronounced &réa. 👩🏾🦲☃️ (@rhythmgoddesss) December 18, 2018
looks like a Ken doll with a soundcloud account
— Eric Bailey (@EricVBailey) December 18, 2018
According to TMZ, a rep for Forever 21 issued an apology. “Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously. We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way.”
Now, the website features the sweater alone.
The sweater retails for $34.90 and isn’t a terrible idea for a holiday gift, but we’re guessing that it would be viewed as more of a gag gift now that the controversy has erupted.
We’re not saying white folks can’t rock with Wakanda, BUT perhaps the actual campaign could probably use some color…IJS.