The collected images shared on social media depict a white couple with children twice, an interracial LGBTQ couple with biracial children, and a black mother with three black children. Naturally, social media users — in particular, a Cincinnati city councilman, Jeff Pastor — wondered why the family that did not feature a father was black.
— Jeff Pastor (@votePASTOR) November 20, 2018
Pastor, who captioned the photo assemblage, “what’s wrong with this picture?” told WLBT, “The only single parent was the black mother. We have multiple, loving, interracial, different parents, beautiful families. But the only picture you have is a single, black mother.”
Macy’s, in response to another offended Twitter user, wrote, “These images were intended to celebrate families and togetherness, never to offend. It’s important for us to know when we’ve missed the mark. We’ve shared your feedback w/our team and we apologize.”
We appreciate your feedback.. These images were intended to celebrate families and togetherness, never to offend. It's important for us to know when we've missed the mark. We've shared your feedback w/our team and we apologize. Thank you.
— Macy's (@Macys) November 18, 2018
Pastor accepted the apology, telling WLBT, “It’s not like they did it with ill intent. But it’s somebody within diversity and inclusion missed that picture.” Others on social media are still airing their grievance with the company.
Can anyone detect whats wrong w/this Macy's ad? In a World where Magic of Subliminal Messages impact our Conscious w/out havng to go through the Subconscious for permission to enter. Making Subliminal Messages more effective than direct blunt messages 'to help create reality!!!!* pic.twitter.com/J7zfCDercU
— Si'rus (Sir) Masters (@SirusMasters) November 18, 2018
Macy's holiday ad. Apparently black men aren't capable of raising happy families. pic.twitter.com/6yWPJ7ixg8
— Cali Chulo (@Cali_Chulo) November 18, 2018
— Natalie Pouchet (@n_pouchet) November 19, 2018
The next evening, Macy’s issued a more extended apology, tweeting, “Thank you for reaching out to share feedback on our holiday pajama product images. We apologize. Our intent was never to offend. It’s important for us to know when we’ve missed the mark, and we appreciate that our customers let us know. Additionally, if you saw a collection of images on social media, please know that those were actually product images that were cut and pasted together rather than an advertisement from Macy’s. We know we are at our best when what we do fully reflects the rich diversity of our colleagues, customers & communities. We have shared the comments with our team & are making changes so our customers see balanced images when shopping online with us.”
Radina Russell, general vice president of corporate communications with Macy’s Inc., provided the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “We appreciate everyone who reached out to share feedback about our holiday pajama product images on Macys.com — we want our customers to tell us when we don’t get it right. We apologize. It was certainly not our intent to offend anyone.
“Macys.com features a rotating selection of many family pj product images that were intended to celebrate families and togetherness. The collection of images people may have seen on social media were actually individual product images that were cut from our website and pasted together rather than an advertisement from Macy’s. That said, based on a customer’s journey through our site, they may not have seen the full suite of images spread across different pages on Macys.com.
“We listened. And we updated Macys.com so that our customers now see more balanced pj images when shopping online with us. We also plan to have a thorough internal discussion on how to be more thoughtful in the future. Thank you again to everyone who reached out.”
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