A GapKids advertising campaign has sparked controversy on social media after some believe the company's attempt to empower young girls instead comes across as racist.
The brand's Ellen DeGeneres kids clothing line released its newest campaign Friday with one picture featuring four members of an all-kids circus troop.
In the photo, a white troop member is leaning on her black troop member's head. The caption under the image says, "Meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything."
The post immediately incited a backlash on Twitter:
— Fatima La'Juan Muse (@TheTherapyDiva) April 2, 2016
— Luke (@lukemort) April 3, 2016
GapKids was quick to issue an apology, and replaced the photo on its website with a different picture of the same four girls.
“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.
Meanwhile, an actress said on twitter the two girls are related.
@TheRoot girl with arm resting on her shoulder is her sister She didn't talk in video because she was 2 shy. everyone needs to calm down.
— Brooke Smith (@Iam_BrookeSmith) April 3, 2016
meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything.
— GapKids (@GapKids) April 2, 2016