French retailer Target Stores, meanwhile, contracted with the movie's costume designer, Renée Kalfus, to design and producde a girl's clothing line titled "Annie for Target."
Immediately following the movie's release, a Delaware woman, LeSean Rinque, started a change.org petition alleging that Target Stores was "racist" in using a White model to advertise their clothing line.
Excuse me? Target Stores owns this line of clothing. They paid Ms Kalfus good Yankee dollars to develop the line. They have every right to market it in any way they see fit. That's called free enterprise, Ms Rinque, and it's the reason you can afford to drive a car and buy clothing for your bi-racial daughter, and the reason you can drink your tap water and own a computer on which to start change.org petitions. The free enterprise system allows you to refuse to buy Target clothing if you are dissatisfied with their advertising. It does not give you the right to attempt to curtail Target's sales by publicly calling them racist.
I've read Harold Gray's comic strip Little Orphan Annie in the Chicago Tribune since the 1930s (I'll be 81 in March) and I've never known her to be anything but a little White girl – and a little White girl with red hair, no less! I should respectfully like to suggest that it is the portraying of such an iconic American folk-figure as a little Black girl in an Angela Davis afro that is über-racist!
"You mean ol' White racists don't deserve to have no White heroine like Little Orphan Annie. We gots to make her Black!"
Mr. Gluck himself had reservations about the film. He told a Billboard/Hollywood Reporter conference in November, "I was very scared going into this, if I was going to ruin a lot of kids' childhoods. A lot of people who love Annie were Annie, their sisters were Annie, their moms were Annie, they have this memory of being Annie when they put it on stage in middle school."
Your initial perception was correct, Mr. Gluck. The injection of Black racism into a comic strip character can be nothing other than a transparent attempt to promote the myth of White racism. Little Orphan Annie is racist because her creator, Harold Gray, drew her as a White girl. And we've got to rectify that offensive White racism by making her a Black girl.
Well, Mr. Gluck, your movie bombed. It received a unanimous thumbs down from the critics. And a great part of the reason is because it's unrealistic. Annie is White! She'll never be Black! Get used to it! Stop trying to change reality to fit your own warped view of what it ought to be.
I have not seen Will Gluck's Annie, nor do I intend to, but I'm confident Quvenzhané Wallis is a competent and talented actress. The tragedy is that she has allowed her talent to be prostituted to the Sharptonesque enterprise of fomenting and farming White guilt.