A new Gap Kid’s Ad has sparked debate online with what appears to be passive racism. The ad features four young girls, three white, and one black, who form “the only all-kid humanitarian cirque troupe in the world" called Le Petit Cirque.
Although the girls are apparently promoting the idea that everybody is capable of doing anything and inspiring others, there is one huge problem. The video shows the little black girl being used as a prop for the white one and even while Ellen Degeneres is talking to them, the African-American girl gets asked no questions and simply sits staring around.
Interestingly, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Black people have been used as sidekicks and props in several movies and advertisements. A recent example is that of Taylor Swift’s song “Wildest Dreams,” where the video is shot in an African jungle but the singer forgot to include any black people in her video. The music video has been criticized for the having racist overtones, since all it managed to portray were white people.
In a day and age when people are working toward gender equality and racial inclusion, it is rather surprising that a brand as big as Gas released such a racist ad.
Here’s how Twitter users reacted to it:
You seriously think this ad demonstrates empowerment? Diversity? Equality? I only see proof of racism. https://t.co/EfBoVB2Nmh— peaches (@valentinacheese) April 3, 2016