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Armani Faces Racism Accusations as Mislabeled Instagram Photo Goes Viral


On Monday night, an Instagram photo that the Armani team published from the previous evening's Governors Awards caused quite a stir online. In sum, the brand mislabeled Alfre Woodard, the black actress in the photo, as black actor Idris Elba in the caption. Talk about awkward.

Sure, this seems like the classic "I typed a post too fast and didn't remember to proofread" mistake, but with race such a hot-button issue in the industry these days, fans of both the brand and the actors in question were infuriated. Before long, the situation spawned its own hashtag, #ArmaniCaptions. A quick browse of this term on Twitter will bring up sarcastic posts "mistaking" one black celebrity for another, like the ones below:

Solange Knowles covers Vogue magazine in Armani menswear! A true beauty #ArmaniCaptions

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— Talisha (@charmful) November 19, 2013

R&B princess Ciara killin' em in denim!

— Cwean My Dishes Plz (@PattiLaHelle) November 19, 2013

As expected, the original post was promptly removed and updated, but not before a number of screenshots were taken of the faux pas. In an age when things we release in the digital space never really go away, Armani is sure to hear about this misstep for quite some time, especially with all of the recent news about racial profiling at Barneys. But we can't help but wonder: Is the scrutiny over what was clearly an accident going too far in this case?