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Gap clothing stores pull controversial picture

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 09:21:39-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- People in Southwest Florida are reacting to a clothing ad causing a stir on social media.

The ad put on by Gap features four young girls sporting a new collection that launched on Friday in collaboration with Ellen Degeneres. Some people say the picture shows passive racism because a taller white girl is resting her arm on the young black girl's head.

Some people have been very vocal with their opinion on twitter, one mother calling Gap's ad "A major fail," adding she won't be shopping for her daughters at the store anymore. Other people on social media calling for a boycott of the clothing store and it's advertising agency.

Some people who saw the picture say any sign of racism is hard to spot.

"It surprises me, I didn't really see anything wrong," a shopper said. "All I see is kids in the picture. I didn't even notice anything about color."

"I think anyone can take anything as racist if they really tried," another shopper said. "I don't take that as racist."

A similar but older photo showed a black girl resting her arm on a young white girl's head, some shoppers say goes to show the ad's intentions were not to harm anyone.

"It's ridiculous, I don't know why people would think that that way," A shopper said. "I see them all as regular kids. I don't see how that pose is racist."

Gap heard the feedback and has replaced the picture some critics say delivers a racist message for one with a different pose taken the same day.

Gap sent FOX 4 this statement:

"As a brand with a proud 46-year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we've offended. This GapKids campaign highlights true stories of talented girls who are celebrating creative self-expression and sharing their messages of empowerment. We are replacing the image with a different shot from the campaign, which encourages girls (and boys) everywhere to be themselves and feel pride in what makes them unique."
- Debbie Felix, spokesperson.