US retailer Gap has issued an apology following a social media backlash against an ad for its Ellen DeGeneres kids clothing line, which Twitter and Facebook users slammed as "racist".
The campaign in question was part of the brand's #GapKidsxED push on social, and depicted four young girls side-to-side. It was posted alongside the caption: "Meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything." Two white girls were shown holding gymnast-like positions while an African American girl stood in the centre with her arms by her sides next to a third white girl who was using the middle girl's head to prop herself up.
Twitter users were quick to react to the post, calling out the fashion house for using the girl in the centre as a "arm rest".
— Jasmine Wow (@Jmo120) April 3, 2016
— Jennifer L. Pozner (@jennpozner) April 3, 2016
— Janice Deul (@JaniceDeul) April 3, 2016
Debbie Felix, a Gap Kids spokesperson, issued an apology for the campaign on Monday (4 April), saying in a statement: "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."
The tweet is currently still live on Gap's official page, but Felix said that the company would be "replacing the image with a different shot from the campaign, which encourages girls (and boys) everywhere to be themselves and feel pride in what makes them unique."