Forever21 panned for white model in 'Black Panther' sweater

December 19, 2018 - 12:42 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – There’s a backlash on Twitter over retail chain Forever21’s choice to use a white model for a “Black Panther” sweater.

Twitter critics took offense that a blond-haired, blue-eyed man was chosen to show off apparel for a superhero movie celebrating a fictional African nation named Wakanda.

The sweater is emblazoned with Wakanda's slogan: “Wakanda Forever.”  

A number of people blasted the model choice on Twitter Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Y'all really put a COLONIZER in a Wakanda shirt,” one user wrote.

“Not even Wakanda can escape gentrification,” tweeted another person.

“In what universe did you think it was ok to feature a white model in Wakanda gear,” a man who said he was a former brand specialist for the company wrote. “I’m highly offended.”

Other users countered that the comic was written by two white men, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, or that it was popular with fans of all races. 

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Forever21 said it "takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously." 

“We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way," the company wrote.

The company took down the controversial image on Tuesday. The sweater is still for sale, but it’s modeled by no one.