Not such a long time has passed since the fast fashion giant H&M got slammed as ‘racist’ for featuring a photo on their website with a black boy wearing a jumper saying “The coolest monkey in the jungle.” Now another behemoth of cheap clothes – Forever 21 – is facing backlash from the internet after sharing a photo on Twitter and their website, featuring a white model wearing a Wakanda Forever sweater. The advertised holiday sweater is inspired by the movie Black Panther – a huge Hollywood hit that was released earlier this year. Wakanda is the fictional Sub-Saharan African country in this Marvel story, the home of Black Panther. In the controversial photo, a white male model with blonde hair is sporting a purple, yellow and orange sweater with “Wakanda Forever” written on it and a Black Panther logo. Many were outraged by the use of a white model for a product that, according to some, was inspired by a movie which celebrates the African experience and addresses Western colonization.

This is the picture that caused outrage among many people on Twitter

Image credits: Forever 21

The internet called out Forever 21 for being completely “tone deaf”

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Forever 21 has since issued an apology, and removed the photo from both their website and Twitter

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The company released a public statement: “Forever 21 takes concerns on our products and marketing extremely seriously. While we celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities, we listened to the important feedback from our customers and removed the product photo in question from our website and social media accounts. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product photo.”

However, this guy had a completely different opinion about the matter

Many people supported his opinion and believed that neither the sweater, nor the model are “real issues”

A lot of Twitter users also supported the opinion that accusations of racism have no real basis

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