Target is under fire after shoppers noticed that advertisements promoting the store’s Annie clothing line featured a young White model rather than the movie’s star, Quvenzhané Wallis, reports News One.
The sign, showing a pre-teen model wearing the red dress that Quvenzhané donned in the film, also doubles as an Annie advertisement, prominently displaying the movie’s release date.
Delaware motivational speaker L’Sean Rinique Shelton created a Change.org petition, asking that the stores remove the signs that blatantly ignore the film’s Black starlet. She also demands that the megastore apologize to the 11-year-old actress.
“Your recent Annie ads and in-store displays depicts a misleading depiction of the movie as it shows a [Caucasian] young lady opposed to the star of the film—Quvenzhané Wallis,” she wrote in the petition, which has so far garnered nearly 7,000 signatures. “Though the model is quite professional, she does not speak to the relevance of the movie or main character. When the original Annie came out, everything was about Aileen Quinn or a character/person that emulated her…why not now, Target?”
Shelton noted that the online ads featured young girls of multiple ethnicities, including one Black girl.
“In the current stench of racism and division amongst Americans, why would Target singlehandedly disrespect Quvenzhané Wallis and add more pain to injury as it relates to race relations?” she writes.
Target has not issued a response.