As soon as GapKids tweeted out images from its latest campaign, a collaboration with Ellen Degeneres' ED, Twitter users expressed their dismay at the positioning of, Lucy, the sole Black girl in the shot.
Lucy is seen standing next to a taller girl, Fanny, who is resting her arm on her head. To make matters worse, Lucy does not speak at all in the video promo for the campaign. In fact, she seems completely disengaged from what's going on around her.
An uproar about the company's racial insensitivity ensued. The girl's mother, actress Brooke Smith, took to Twitter to address the controversy saying "everyone needs to calm down." She explained that Lucy and Fanny, the girls at the center of the controversy, are adoptive sisters.
@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
Nevertheless, the outcry was so great, Gap spokesperson, Debbie Felix, issued a statement Tuesday to Fast Company's Co.Create: "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. This GapKids campaign highlights true stories of talented girls who are celebrating creative self-expression and sharing their messages of empowerment. We are 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."
There's been no word on when the new images will be released.