The clothing chain Forever 21 said they were sorry for hiring a white model to sell its new “Black Panther” sweater, which has the words “Wakanda Forever” on the front.
Of course, the film “Black Panther” broke ground, not only in the box office, but for being the first Black superhero movie to get major studio backing. The predominantly Black cast was also a different look for a superhero film, so many believed the person who modeled the sweater should’ve been Black.
“In what universe did you think it was okay to feature a white model in Wakanda gear?” someone tweeted. “Granted, chances are you knew it wasn’t okay but still, as a former #21Men brand specialist for the company, I’m highly offended.”
“This is truly unacceptable,” wrote another. “There are so many African American models who would’ve looked right in this ad.”
Others said the ad is an example of how Black people aren’t hired enough in the fashion world, and they slammed the company for that very reason. But other Black folks didn’t see what all the outrage was about, so they sent messages to those who were angered.
“I’m still wearing #Forever21,” one woman wrote. “Ya pressed over not a got damn thing. Has everyone forgotten #Wakanda and it’s people are fictional created by a white man’s vision?”
“So if I wore a Gotham City shirt would that be insulting?” one man questioned. “You do know without people of all races its not the biggest movie of the year?”
In their statement, Forever 21 said it listened to the criticism, and the ad reportedly has been pulled.
“Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously,” the company told HuffPost. “We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way.”