If you were out and about this Christmas, you would have noticed that the film Annie appeared in theaters starring the very talented Quvenzhané Wallis, along with Jamie Foxx and a host of other outstanding actors and actresses. The film did so-so at the box office, despite being an extraordinary and uplifting presentation that allowed African Americans to play roles that differed from the standard Hollywood stereotypes.
But of course, the racists were livid because the character playing Annie wasn’t white.
Now, Target has drawn the ire of some by putting up an ad that probably needs a highly convincing explanation in order to make any sense. According to a Change.org petition filed by L’Sean Shelton, Target owes Wallis an apology for featuring an ad that shows Annie as a cute white girl in a red dress instead of the black girl that everyone saw in theaters earlier this month.
“Remove the TARGET Annie in-store ads and issue Quvenzhané Wallis an apology” is the title of the online petition that has been created to express concern over the use of the white female image. It’s difficult to understand why Target would ever do such a thing, and the contrast is certainly difficult to ignore.
Here’s some of what the L’Sean says on the petition:
In the current stench of racism and division amongst Americans, why would Target singlehandedly disrespect Quvenzhané Wallis and add more pain to injury as it relates to race relations?
Your recent Annie ads and in-store displays depicts a misleading depiction of the movie as it shows a Caucasion young lady opposed to the star of the film- Quvenzhané Wallis. Though the model is quite professional, she does not speak to the relevance of the movie or main character. When the original Annie came out, everything was about Aileen Quinn or a character/person that emulated her…why not now Target? If you can show it online, show it in ALL of your stores with multiple signage with different girls not one!
It’s interesting that Target would not include the image of Quvenzhané Wallis in it’s Annie for Kids Collection. It could have been due to a negotiation dispute, or maybe they never asked her. But it does leave a bitter taste in the mouths of those who loved the film and the actress, and are wondering why Target doesn’t consider the little black girl to be the right fit for the advertisement.
So, tell us: Is there a race issue here or are people overreacting? You can see the rest of the petition here.