FOREVER 21 Removes Controversial BLACK PANTHER Sweater Photo

Forever 21
Credit: mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Clothing retailer Forever 21 has removed a controversial photo featuring a model who appears caucasian wearing a Black Panther-themed sweater featuring the Wakanda salute "Wakanda Forever" from their website, according to USAToday.

The image was removed after users on Twitter questioned whether a white model should be representative of Wakanda, a fictional country populated entirely by black Africans. One Twitter user jokingly called the idea of a white model representing Wakanda "gentrification," while a Forever 21 user review, using the language of the film, said "Colonizers are not allowed to represent us!"

Others presented a different opinion, saying that since Black Panther merchandise is appropriate for people of any racial or ethnic identity to wear, it should be OK for people of any identity to model the clothing as well.

Following the deletion of the image, Forever 21 issued an apology for the photo (via The Hollywood Reporter) which reads: "Forever 21 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 sweater is still available on Forever 21's website, though the listing now features a photo of the garment by itself. 

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