Target finds itself in a pickle with angry customers accusing the retailer of racial discrimination. Bear, Delaware, customer L’Sean Rinique Shelton launched a Change.org petition against Target over its in-store Annie advertisements when she noticed that the ads for the movie’s branded clothing line featured a young white model fronting the campaign as opposed to Quvenzhané Wallis, who stars as the main character in the film. Shelton sees the act as another snub against young black girls.
“Why do you feel that we are not enough to portray our beautiful images on your advertisements,” the petition reads. “If it is a multi-cultural issue, surely you could use her co-stars on some ads and Quvenzhané Wallis or another African American girl on others.”
So far, Shelton’s petition is over 3,000 supporters strong, just a little over 1,600 away from reaching her goal for signatures. Shelton calls the ads a “misleading depiction of the movie,” and notes that in light of the current volatile racial climate in America, this sort of misstep is the last thing anyone needs. Perez Hilton mentions that though the in-store ads feature a white model, the line’s lookbook does include a few black girls.
“We demand that you immediately pull those misleading ads and give Quvenzhané Wallis her due respect as well as other little girls who aspire to be like her. Being African American is not ugly, it is not bad and we are sellable! These grossly misleading ads are adding to the divide and does not give young African American girls aspiring to become actors anything to be optimistic about.”
Supporters of Shelton’s campaign call the ads “damaging to the psyche” and “outright blatant disregard” to Quvenzhané’s role in the film. So far, Target has not commented.