GapKids X ED, Ellen DeGeneres' Gap Kids clothing line, is under fire after releasing an advertisement that critics say have racist undertones. 

Photos posted on GapKids' Twitter account on Saturday show children in active poses; one stands in an acrobatic pose while another break dances. Others pursue hobbies like DJing and an interest in astronomy.

meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything.

check out #GapKidsxED: https://t.co/qbR13BsWIL pic.twitter.com/e47gVghHt0

— GapKids (@GapKids) April 2, 2016

But while the ad features children of different races, the one black child in the campaign isn't receiving the same kind of attention that the other children are getting.

One photo spotlights four girls from Le Petit Cirque, an "all humanitarian kid's circus" and dance troupe. The girls range from ages 8 to 12.

Twitter users commented on the photo saying the young black girl is portrayed as subservient and is being used as an "arm rest" for an older white girl in the campaign.

"Why is the little black girl being used as an arm rest?" one social media user challenged Gap Kids. "I'm sure there were better photos taken. You should fix it."

@GapKids Why is the little black girl being used as an arm rest? I'm sure there were better photos taken. You should fix it.

— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) April 3, 2016

Other critics agreed and even called the girl the "token" child of color:

 

@GapKids someone needs to get fired. it was ignorant in the first place to have 1 token black girl, then you make her the arm rest?

— La Única (@KALIUCHIS) April 3, 2016

 

@GapKids proving girls can do anything... unless she's Black. Then all she can do is bear the weight of White girls. #EpicFail

— Fatima La'Juan Muse (@TheTherapyDiva) April 2, 2016

 

@TheTherapyDiva @GapKids Do they not have people who actually look at these things???

— Judith M (@Jmeow2) April 3, 2016

 

@GapKids yeah that's cool and all but no one should be resting on anyone's head. Not cool pic.twitter.com/IDhNLc21EO

— ReadEverythingDotCom (@ASHA7777) April 2, 2016

 

@GapKids my 6 year old saw this and immediately recognized the problem but a whole adult PR dept missed it.

— Loc'd Hair Free Mind (@klpqueen) April 3, 2016

 

But some people pointed out a Gap Kids ad from 2015 that didn't spark the same controversy in which a black child rested her arm on a white child's head.

 

Does the @GapKids pic on the left make the pic on the right okay? Let's debate pic.twitter.com/rCFbK4uG5y

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 3, 2016

 

@MatthewACherry @GapKids No. Racist power imbalance/damaging stereotypical representation does not go both ways in this case.

— Shantal Nev (@ficklemuse_) April 4, 2016

 

@MatthewACherry @GapKids Ppl never made so much fuss about the one on the left, did they?

— Ruth Schurink (@RuthSchurink19) April 4, 2016

 

A video posted on Gap Kids Twitter page shows many other photos that were taken of the children.

 

girls can do anything. and these kids are here to prove it.

check out #GapKidsxED: https://t.co/qbR13Bblkbhttps://t.co/uU6mlZ76wd

— GapKids (@GapKids) April 1, 2016

 

Neither Gap Kids nor Ellen DeGeneres have commented on the negative responses about the ad. 

Read more here. 

 
 
 
 

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