The 2018 science fiction film was widely praised for its celebration of black culture with Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan leading the star-studded cast.
The jumper in question is emblazoned with the phrase ‘Wakanda Forever’ across the front in reference to a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa.
So when Forever 21 shared a photograph of a white model donning the high street label’s themed festive knit on Twitter, social media users were quick to call out the brand’s tone deaf move.
One Twitter user screenshot the now-deleted controversial tweet and it has since garnered over 3,500 likes – with fellow users criticising the brand’s casting decision.
— LaBlaq, the final Fantastic. (@LoveAndShalom) December 18, 2018
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) December 18, 2018
Hey @Forever21, In What Universe Did You Think It Was Ok To Feature A White Model In Wakanda Gear? Granted, Chances Are You Knew It Wasn’t Ok, But Still. As A Former #21Men Brand Specialist For The Company, I’m Highly Offended.
— Mark-Paul (@WhoIsMarkPaul) December 18, 2018
How tone deaf do you have to be to choose this model for that sweater? Do better white people!
— Maureen (@Iammo_25) December 18, 2018
In response to the backlash, the fashion chain has removed the jumper from the website.
In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, the company apologised: “Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously.
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