Change has come to America in various forms but is most reflected in movies. The latest rebranding of a popular film character was seen in an ad campaign from Target. In Annie, actress Quvenzhane Wallis stars in the title role along with Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx. However, the department store giant in an ad campaign for their new Annie clothing line, replaced the young Black actress with a young White girl in its advertisements.
That’s right, Annie was changed back to a White character by Target. This move by the company has been met with outrage by many Black shoppers, especially those with young girls. A change.org petition has been created to bring attention to the issue and to make Target change its ads. The petition reads in part: Though the model is quite professional, she does not speak to the relevance of the movie or main character. ‘The Red Dress’ is synonymous to Annie and we are not seeing that in any of your ads. When the original Annie came out, everything was about Aileen Quinn or a character/person that emulated her … why not now Target? 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 company, however, is unapologetic and issued the following statement, “Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie.”
The question is whether Target has disrespected the young actress with a subtle form of racism.