Old Navy Takes Heat For Tweeting Photo Of An Interracial Family

Update: Following the inundation of hateful tweets Old Navy received after posting an ad featuring an interracial couple and a biracial child, fans showed their support for the brand in the best way possible: by sharing images of their own mixed-race families.
Grace Mahary, one of the models featured in the conversation-sparking ad, also expressed solidarity with Old Navy. She shared the ad on Instagram, along with the caption: "In light of the controversy around my pretend family... I am proud to be representing interracial love, multiculturalism, and most importantly, a mentality that supports opportunity for all ethnicities."
Clay Pollini, the other model in the photo, also responded on social media. "I'm extremely proud to have taken part in a campaign that not only celebrates our nation's diversity, but also unites families with multicultural backgrounds and promotes love of all of kinds," he wrote on Instagram.
Regarding the image, Debbie Felix, a spokesperson for Old Navy, released the following statement to Refinery29: "We are a brand with a proud history of championing diversity and inclusion. At Old Navy, everyone is welcome." This story was originally published on May 1, 2016.

Old Navy put out a tweet out on Friday for a sale that promised big savings for its customers, but ended up getting more than it probably bargained for. All because of one photo. "Oh, happy day," the tweet for Old Navy's #ThankYouEvent began, which promised 30% off your entire purchase. With this kindly worded tweet was a photo of a stylish mother, father, and little son wearing their favorite Old Navy digs. This photo, though, had some followers in an uproar. Why, you ask? Because this photo featured an interracial family.
"Absolutely disgusting," one person commented. "What's next? Gender neutral bathrooms? Pedophilia acceptance propaganda?! Never shopping here again." Another wrote, "Old Navy HATES White babies! It takes a White mother and a White father to make a White baby. Stop #WhiteGeocide," which we'll assume was supposed to be "genocide." Many starting using big words like "miscengenation" (defined as the interbreeding of people of different racial types) to get at how angry they were about this photo. "My family and I will never step into an @OldNavy store again," one person wrote. "This miscegenation junk is rammed down our throats from every direction." Jumping on the miscegenation bandwagon, someone else tweeted, "Stop promoting miscegenation or else I'm taking my $$$ elsewhere!!!" As Perez Hilton reported, one user, @mak_morn3, wrote the following before making his tweets private: "Your clothes are crap quality and now you're promoting miscegenation. Disgusting!"
It was this user who got a response from the official Old Navy account, which asked, "We are happy to help. Can you tell us what has disappointed you? Thanks!" While the user never answered, Old Navy did start getting responses from those who didn't have a problem with the photo and wanted to let the company know it should ignore these messages of hate. "Old navy this is absolutely beautiful," one person wrote. "I commend you on being human beings and representing the world as we know it." Another tweeted a photo of their own interracial family, writing, "Hey @OldNavy, my family and I thank you for the diversity in this ad! #LoveWins, no matter the color." While many talked about boycotting after the ad, one person said it had the opposite effect: "Just used my old navy cc to buy a $150 worth of clothes for my 2 nieces all because of your beautiful ad." The best though has to be from the man who wrote, "Hey Old Navy. I like white women can we get an ad with a black man and a white womam [sic] to really piss these people off?" Old Navy has yet to respond to that one.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series