A white gubernatorial candidate in Georgia faces mounting criticism over a campaign advertisement that features her face fading into a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr.
As The Root reported Thursday, Democratic state representative Stacey Evans’ ad, which centers on her visiting King’s childhood church in Atlanta, the has been accused of being tantamount to blackface.
In the ad, Evans speaks with parishioners at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, eventually culminating in the offensive fade-in before cutting to her campaign slogan, “Bringing HOPE back to Georgians.”
Evans, who was reportedly not authorized to film inside Ebenezer but did anyway, has been summarily dissed for the misstep.
“You have no diversity on your team & apparently don’t understand its value,” CNN commentator and former South Carolina state legislator Bakari Sellers tweeted along with a link to the “tone deaf” ad.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) January 24, 2018
“Superimposing Dr. King’s face over your candidate’s does not move you closer to uniting us all,” activist Anoa Changa wrote in response to the ad. “Our legacy and struggle are not to be used as props to push people across the finish line.”
Evans’ campaign responded to the criticism in a since-deleted Instagram post by claiming the criticism was directed by her Democratic primary rival, fellow former state legislator and author Stacey Abrams, who The Root noted is running to become the first black woman governor in the United States.
“No matter how much others may seek division for political gain, we will remain focused on bringing Georgians together to win this election and accomplish those goals,” Evans said in a statement.
Read more responses to Evans’ ad below.
GA Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Evans gets the #GirlByeAward for trying to defend her tone deaf and offensive commercial! And no, the @staceyabrams campaign didn’t ask me to say this. https://t.co/KP4NjsuVwN
— Tishaura O. Jones (@tishaura) January 25, 2018
— Tamar Hallerman (@ajconwashington) January 25, 2018