Forever 21 is under fire after displaying a total lack of common sense.
On Tuesday, the fashion retailer hit Twitter to promote a Black Panther sweater they’re selling—the only problem is, the model they used to sell the new merch isn’t the slightest bit Black.
The young blonde, blue-eyed man stands tall in the top, which reads “Wakanda Forever” across the front. The obvious question is: why wasn’t a Black person asked to model it? Of course, it didn’t take long before the internet blew up with frustration, while others said anyone of any race should be able to wear Wakanda gear.
“People got mad because Forever 21 had a white male wearing a wakanda forever sweater… Y’all so aggravating and complain about everything. Like why can’t someone white be showcased wearing that ? Black panther is a marvel character created for any and everyone to enjoy RELAX,” @lunaticshii tweeted, for example.
To be fair, most folks aren’t mad he’s simply wearing the shirt…they’re mad that out of everyone, he’s the person they chose to promote the shirt. Key difference. The way Black culture is continuously hijacked by other races while Black people are dumped and forgotten, we’d just appreciate it if Black folks were lifted up and celebrated whenever the opportunity presents itself. And having a Black model sell a Black Panther sweater was one of those OBVIOUS opportunities to show love, which makes us wonder if choices like the one Forever 21 made are intentional? Why deny a young Black king or queen that moment to shine amongst his/her peers? Are these companies really just that tone deaf? Are there no Black models at these shoots? Or, Black employees working the shoots?
Eventually, Forever 21 decided to pull the photo and issue an apology via E!:
“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.”
Hit the flip to see some of the backlash the company received.
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