Ivanka Trump’s namesake brand is raising eyebrows for posting an Anne Frank quote about happiness. Trump took a formal leave of absence from overseeing her company last month as her husband, Jared Kushner, took a role as a senior White House adviser, but the eponymous brand continues to operate.
Last week, the Ivanka Trump website — which serves as the editorial arm of Trump’s personal brand and fashion line — posted a pink and red graphic displaying a quote from Frank, which read: “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”
The quote comes from Frank’s diary, which details the two years she spent hiding with her family from Nazi prosecution. Frank was killed in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15.
The post — which lives among quotes from Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as more controversial figures like Ayn Rand and Woody Allen — immediately garnered criticism for being tone-deaf and minimizing Frank’s struggle to promote Trump’s female empowerment brand. Some critics said that the post was especially cringe-worthy considering some of the early actions of President Donald Trump’s administration.
During the first week of the Trump presidency, the White House issued a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but did not mention the words “Jew” or “Jewish.” The White House later said that the exclusion was not an error and that the statement was meant to be “inclusive” to remember the other minority groups that were murdered in the genocide. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are Jewish, and Kushner’s grandparents are survivors of the Holocaust.
President Trump also signed an executive order (which has since been halted by a federal court) that temporarily suspended immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and the United States’ refugee program. Frank and her family were denied entry into the U.S. as refugees, which could have saved their lives.
In response to the order, the Anne Frank House said President Trump was “driving the U.S. off a moral cliff” and asked on Twitter, “Which new Anne Frank will your refugee ban turn away, now?” Last year, before Trump was elected, Frank’s step-sister compared him to Adolf Hitler and accused him of inciting racism.
Ivanka Trump HQ did not respond to Motto’s request for comment about their response to criticism of the post.
The incident highlights the issues Trump has faced since her father has taken office. Though Trump has fashioned her brand as an aspirational brand meant to empower women, both the brand and Trump’s image have faced scrutiny. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped her merchandise, attributing the decision to low sales. (Nordstrom’s decision raised ire from the President himself, who lashed out at the brand on Twitter, sparking ethical questions.) When her father first signed the executive order on immigration, critics of the Trump administration called her “tone deaf” for posting a picture of herself, with Kushner, in a $5,000 ballgown while refugees were being barred from entry into the U.S.