It saddens us to report that over the weekend, the very Gap Holiday Campaign we heaped praise on recently for its socially-minded message, has been vandalized. Furthermore, the model targeted was Indian-American jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, whom we spoke with just last week.
One of the campaign’s images, a portrait of Ahluwalia and model/film-maker Quentin Jones, was advertised on a downtown platform of the 6 in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. The image was captioned “Make Love,” but it was crossed out and replaced with “Make Bombs.” Underneath, someone else had written “Please stop driving taxis.”
Photographer Robert Gerhardt snapped an image of the vandalism and shared it on Twitter. Fortunately it caught the eye of Arsalan Iftikhar, a media commentator, who shared the photographer with his 40,000+ Twitter and Facebook followers to create buzz.
His tweets received so many re-tweets and Facebook shares that in less than one day, Gap contacted him directly. See the exchange below:
PHOTO: On this GAP subway ad featuring a Sikh man…Vandals have written “Make Bombs” & “Please stop driving taxis” pic.twitter.com/yvw2vhfexW
— Arsalan Iftikhar™ (@TheMuslimGuy) November 25, 2013
Even more admirable than GAP’s quick response, was changing their current Twitter background to the image of Ahluwalia and Jones. While we applaud GAP’s actions, we can’t help but be disheartened that such ugliness lies in our hometown.