In the image, which was shared and then deleted on Forever 21’s Twitter account and on its website, a white male model with platinum blonde hair sported a purple, yellow and orange sweater with a design that featured the words “Wakanda Forever” and a black panther logo. Wakanda is the fictional African nation in Marvel’s Black Panther.
As might be expected, many were outraged by the use of a white model for a product that was seemingly inspired by a movie that not only celebrated the African experience but explicitly addressed Western colonization.
The Internet sounded off about how they felt about the matter.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, Forever 21 addressed the incident: “Forever 21 takes concerns on our products and marketing extremely seriously. While we celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities, we listened to the important feedback from our customers and removed the product photo in question from our website and social media accounts. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product photo.”
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