Yesha Callahan

Customers Petition Against Target’s White-Washed Annie Collection, Demand Apology for Quvenzhané Wallis

annie target full

Target is receiving major backlash for a series of in-store ads featuring white models for the new Annie For Target collection. Annie, which hit theaters on Christmas day is played by Black actress Quvenzhané Wallis.

The petition calls for Target  to apologize for being “utterly disrespectful” to ‘Annie” star Quvenzhané Wallis. The petition also calls for Target to remove the in-store ‘Annie’ ads.

target1n-2-web (1)

The petition states:

Your recent Annie ads and in-store displays depicts a misleading depiction of the movie as it shows a Caucasian young lady [as] 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!

“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?” “Being African American is not ugly, it is not bad and we are sellable!” “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. Please show more diversity within your stores and depict a variety of races as you did with your online ads. Everyone does not have access to internet- plus the younger fans may not be allowed to use internet.”

“Although Annie is a fictitious character, there has been a major uproar from protesters stating that they would not support the movie due to the star being African American.” “Is the reason why Target maliciously hid Quvenzhané Wallis or refused to use an African American girl to depict Annie in their ads?”

The petition was created L’Sean Rinique Shelton after she had to reassure her daughter who is a huge Annie fan that she was beautiful following a trip to the retail chain, where the in-store Annie ads featured white girls.

Annie star Quvenzhane Wallis

Annie star Quvenzhane Wallis

Target has since responded to the petition, which has garnered nearly 12,000 signatures, and insists that the campaign features young women from a variety of races and backgrounds.

“Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie.“ As for the involvement of Quvenzhané Wallis, we had conversations with her team about being in the campaign, but ultimately it did not come to fruition,” Target stated. “Fortunately, we had the pleasure of working with Ms. Wallis a number of times, including appearances at Target’s sales meeting in September and a launch event in New York City in November. We had a great experience working with Ms. Wallis and appreciate her efforts in promoting this collection.”

The creator of the petition has since posted Target’s response, as well as her own reaction to the company’s statement.

“Clearly I can see the ads with the African American girl in them, that is great! However, who wore the Red Dress and Locket? Annie! Every photo with the red dress has beautiful girls…just not our girls.”  “Also, EVERY Target Nationally does NOT display the diverse ads in each store which has been confirmed by dozens of consumers Black, White, Spanish etc.- that is a problem! Some say that I am whining, some say its race baiting, I call it bringing it to Americas attention that things should be done much better. That’s all.”

Check out more images from the Annie for Target Collection in our gallery.

Image credits: Target

  1. January 1, 2015 - Reply

    As to Quvenzhane not appearing in the ads, my first thought was that Target offered but didn’t offer enough.

    But, another issue could be branding. Maybe she and/or her team thought her image as a serious, award-worthy actress would be hurt by showing up in ads for products that clearly capitalize on the film. Think of Hunger Games and JLaw-the HG makeup palettes did not show her using the new products. And for actresses who endorse products, it’s not for products that are tackily tied to the project they acted in.

    This still doesn’t excuse the lack of diversity among the lesser-known models they chose for their ads. It’s a shame Target thinks they can justify that.

  2. January 1, 2015 - Reply

    Ugh they don’t have too much to lose now since the line sold well.

  3. January 2, 2015 - Reply

    the put the white girl in white areas and the black girl in black areas,
    but if they wanted to sell to everyone that Annie embodies the spirit
    of all girls then all of the girls should be in every area.

  4. January 2, 2015 - Reply

    Annie is being played by a black girl now, and it would have been EXTREMELY simple to put the little black girl standing next to the white girl in the red “Annie” dress instead and call it a day. But they didn’t do that and there’s a reason for it. Racism isn’t just white people getting away committing acts of murder, economic deprivation, exploitation, and physical violence against black people. The psychological warfare involved with keeping racism going – i.e. the daily disrespectful insults, invalidations, and humiliations that black people have to contend with – is REAL. This is just TYPICAL passive aggressive, insensitive, and hostile white supremacy. Just because it’s passive aggressive doesn’t mean it’s not aggressive or hostile. And just because it’s not blatant doesn’t mean that it’s not racist. Period.

  5. January 2, 2015 - Reply

    Far too often, people ignore how some images in Western society ignore the beauty of blackness. The petition is gaining some traction. Target has no choice, but to issue a response because one thing that a large corporation hates is being labeled as racist in public. Fundamentally, our image, as black people, ought to be shown as representative of our dynamic humanity. Quvenzhane Wallis is a humble person, she is very intelligent, and we all wish her the best. So, we should use this experience to be reminded that our image being shown is not enough. We need our true selves expressed. We need structural changes in society, so black people have true justice. People have the right to express diverse views on the motivation of
    Target in its ad campaign. One thing is true though. We have a long way to go. Our black image must be respected and viewed as having great value in the Universe.

  6. January 2, 2015 - Reply

    I would not waste one bit of energy signing a petition to get anyone to change their business practice so it will make me feel better about giving them my money.

  7. January 4, 2015 - Reply

    Methinks sometimes thou protest too much. This version of Annie was
    based on a white character of Annie. Just as white people were not
    offended and boycotting this year’s black Annie, why are we offended by
    the representation of a character who is traditionally white away?
    Target has very diverse ad campaigns. I always see little black girls in
    their ads. The more important question is why out of all the great
    stories of little black girls did we remake a black version of a popular
    white girl? Why can’t a black fictitious character be of her own
    history and not a copy of a white one?

  8. January 29, 2015 - Reply

    Umm..Really? Annie is a WHITE character. The fact that you people are complaining that she isnt being advertised as a black girl is stupid. There could be multiple reason why she was not used in targets ads. Im sure this petition was created by some ignorant black person who thinks he/she is entitled to something. Like always. and yes, i said YOU PEOPLE. She should have never been black in the first place, so be grateful. Fucking theifs.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: