1. Earlier this year, as part of its “Make Love” ad campaign, Gap released this poster featuring Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia.
2. The campaign received a lot of positive attention for its attention to diversity, from Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.
5. Two days ago, this picture of the ad began circulating on Twitter. It received widespread attention when it was tweeted by Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at The Islamic Monthly.
The words “Make Love” are replaced by “Make Bombs.” Also scrawled on the poster: “Please stop driving taxis.”
6. The next day, Gap tweeted back, asking for details regarding the vandalism.
7. It also immediately changed its Twitter banner photo to the picture featuring Waris Ahluwalia.
8. The internet noticed the brand’s speedy response and showed appreciation in various ways.
11. In this article he wrote for The Daily Beast today, Arsalan Iftikhar wrote:
As a media commentator (and person of color) who regularly talks about issues related to race, ethnicity and identity issues on a daily basis, I could not sit on my hands and do nothing. So when I saw this GAP subway advertisement defaced by vandals with racist messages, I wanted the world to see how millions of brown people are viewed in America today…
More than anything else, though, the moral of this story is to prove yet again that we certainly do not yet live in a “post-racial America” since minorities like South Asians (or other brown folks perceived to be Muslim or Arab) cannot even grace fashion advertisements without having nasty racial epithets hurled their way… I want to live in an America where a fashion model can be a handsome, bearded brown dude in a turban who is considered as beautiful as a busty blonde-haired white girl in see-through lingerie.
12. UPDATE: On November 28th, four days after the original vandalized poster was tweeted by Iftikhar, he tweeted that Gap had replaced it with a new one.
PLEASE SHARE: Here is latest photograph of brand-new @GAP subway ad without racist graffiti…Please Share & Re-Tweet
13. The same Make Love campaign has been a target for hate speech in other cities, such as Chicago where this poster was defaced with homophobic comments.
15. In that case, the tweets received immediate response from the Chicago mayor’s office, indicating that the defaced posters would be replaced.
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