Nationwide — Zazzle.com, a popular web site that allows customers to upload images and design their own personalized T-shirts, is under fire after several Black empowerment T-shirts (short-sleeve and long-sleeve) were spotted being worn by white models. Some of the messages on their shirts read:
“Strong Black Women,” “Black Girl Magic,” and “Melanin Goddess”.
YouTube star Jackie Aina is being credited with publicizing the issue, and naturally, it has gone viral on social media sparking a national outrage. Many are asking and tweeting, “Why can’t they use Black models to sell Black empowerment apparel?”
The company, however, has since apologized, and insisted that they are committed to fairness and diversity.
A spokesman from Zazzle recently released a statement.
“In the case of the T-shirts in question, each designer is shown a series of pre-posed randomized model shots upon which their design is placed. It’s always possible that gender, race and other attributes of the model do not match up to the specifics of the design, given the ratio of our millions of designs to the 100 or so T-shirt styles we offer.”
She continued, “We understand how these designs, when automatically prepopulated on random models, can appear to be a sign of disrespect, and we’re working diligently on an interim fix that doesn’t mismatch out-of-context content to models.”
Sources: Black News