Fashion brand Gucci apologizes for sweater compared to blackface

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EDISON -

Fashion brand Gucci is coming under fire for a sweater some say resembles blackface.

The $890 black sweater comes up over the mouth and features a pair of oversized lips.

“It may be woeful indifference, it may be that they themselves thought it was quite funny and mocking or it may be that they were simply ignorant of this tradition,” says Seton Hall University African American Studies Professor Larry Greene.

Gucci has since apologized for the issue and stopped selling the turtleneck sweater.

But this is just one of several blackface controversies in the news recently. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is facing pressure to resign over a 1984 yearbook photo featuring a person in blackface and another person dressed like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Northam says that he is not the person depicted in the picture, but says that he has painted his face black before.

“I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume,” he said.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to a similar incident.

Professor Greene says that blackface was created as a theater character in the 1800s.

"Had the exaggerated African features with the red lips, the bug eyes and all of those kinds of stereotypic, racist depictions," he says. "Ignorant, lazy, stupid, superstitious and hypersexual."

Meanwhile, Gucci has pledged to turn the issue into a powerful learning experience.

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