- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Target is facing backlash after using white girls to model a new clothing line mirrored after Will Gluck’s 2014 version of “Annie,” played by black actress Quvenzhané Wallis.

Prior to “Annie’s” Dec. 19 release, Target partnered with the movie’s costume designer, Renée Ehrlich Kalfus, to start a clothing line mirrored after the orphan character, CNN Money reported.

Some of the ads showed a white girl wearing a $29.99 red dress available in Target’s “Annie for Target” collection, CNN said.

A Change.org petition demanding Target remove the ads and apologize to Ms. Wallis has gained more than 6,000 signatures.

“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?” the petition asks. “These grossly misleading ads are adding to the divide and does not give young African American girls aspiring to become actors anything to be optimistic about.”

Target spokesman Joshua Thomas clarified that the ads for the online store featured one black girl and two white girls, CNN reported.

“Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie,” he said.

Mr. Thomas said Target has been in contact with Ms. Wallis and her representatives about the situation. CNN reports that the young actress even went to Minnesota for the collection’s launch event and helped promote the collection.

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