In this Tuesday, March 25, 2014 photo, a sign outside a Target store in Philadelphia is shown. Target said Monday, May 5, 2014, that Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel is out, nearly five months after the retailer disclosed a massive data breach that hurt its reputation. The nation’s third-largest retailer says Steinhafel has agreed to step down as the company’s chairman, president and CEO, effective immediately. He also has resigned from its board of directors. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Jamie Foxx and Quvenzahne Wallis in the family musical "Annie"
A young White model advertised Annie’s iconic dress and locket in Target’s promotional materials for the ‘Annie’ inspired clothing line.

Alexander C. Kaufman, HUFFINGTON POST

(Huffington Post)—Target has stirred outrage with an “Annie”-themed ad campaign featuring a white model in place of the black actress who stars in the latest film version of the rags-to-riches story.

An online petition calling for the big-box retailer to remove the ads and apologize to “Annie” star Quvenzhané Wallis had accrued more than 10,000 signatures by Wednesday morning. The petition launched on Monday.

The ad campaign, which began promoting an “Annie”-themed collection in early November, ended this month on schedule, Target told The Huffington Post on Wednesday. The backlash to the ads was a “misperception” of the message, a spokesman said.

“Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie,” the company said in a statement.
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