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Did Target Decide a Black “Annie” Was Not Good Enough For Their Stores?

By: Krystle Crossman

As you walk into the clothing department at Target you will notice ads scattered among the clothes that show how they would look on a child. Some of the more recent ads have parents in an uproar. They portray a Caucasian girl in a red dress on the sidewalk. While this may seem like a perfectly normal photo, this is not what has parents crying foul. It is the fact that they have the word “Annie” and a tag line stating that the movie is coming to theaters soon. What is wrong with this you ask? Well if you haven’t seen previews for the remake of Annie, the girl who plays Annie is black. Her name is Quvenzhané Wallis.

One mother, L’Sean Rinique, told Yahoo that she and her daughter were looking at the Target website and her daughter noticed the ads. She asked her mother why the girls were white in the ad. Her mother explained the original version of Annie and stated that her daughter said, “That’s not what Annie looks like. How come the new black Annie isn’t good enough? Am I not good enough?” Her mother was appalled but she explained that sometimes people make mistakes. Her daughter sang a tune with her and continued on with her day. Rinique decided to start an online petition on Change.org to get Target to change their ads.

Rinique wrote in the petition that the ads were misleading and did not give black girls hope that if they become successful that they will be represented the way that they should. She asked why they didn’t portray Annie as she is portrayed in the new movie. The new models are professional yes, but they do not depict Annie as she is now, Rinique stated. Since she started the petition on December 28th it has gotten 10,050 signatures as of 8am this morning. She has posted updates throughout the last few days and stated that the following is all Target has responded with:

“At Target, we appreciate the opportunity to hear from our guests. We’re proud of our Annie for Target collection, which was inspired by the recently released remake of the family classic and designed by the film’s costume designer…With regard to the marketing of the collection, 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 Quvenzhane Wallis, we had conversations with her team about being in the campaign, but ultimately it did not come to fruition. 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.” (www.change.org)

Rinique wonders that if they feel that anyone is able to embody the spirit of Annie as they state in this response, why didn’t they choose black girls to represent her as well?

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