A children’s clothing company sparked controversy after it decided to pair the face of an African-American boy with a t-shirt featuring a monkey’s body. On Wednesday, a photo of the advertisement was uploaded to Twitter where it generated backlash.
The company under fire, Just Add A Kid, is a clothing brand that sells t-shirts featuring silly designs for kids, such as mermaids, rockstars, and various animals. Their hangers then display the face of a child, along with their company name.
Unfortunately, when one retail store decided to pair an African-American child with a monkey t-shirt, it raised questions as to whether or not the company had racist intentions. According to Just Add A Kid, it was “a total misunderstanding.”
“The head shots on our hangers are intended (to) reflect the different cultures of our happy customers, and are distributed separately to our shirts,” the company said in the statement. “In this particular case, one of our retailers paired a particular hanger with a shirt without consideration for how it may appear to many consumers. We are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
News blog Jezebel also spoke with someone at the company, who reaffirmed that the t-shirts and hangers are delivered separately and that it is up to individual stores to put them together.
“Our designs feature multicultural skin tones and appropriately matching header cards 2 showcase children of the world,” the company tweeted Wednesday.
Incidents like these make companies think twice about what their advertisements say to the public. Since the mishap, Just Add A Kid co-founder Lowell Cohen told NY Daily News that the company is looking into the vendor and speaking to its employees.
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