Nov. 27, 2013— -- The Gap jumped to defend an ad featuring a male model in a turban appearing in its current campaign after anti-Muslim graffiti was scrawled on a poster.
The model, Waris Ahluwalia, is also an actor and jewelry designer who has appeared in movies including "The Darjeeling Limited." He appears in the "Make Love" ads with model and filmmaker Quentin Jones.
He is also Sikh, not Muslim.
When Gap first posted the ads to Twitter, they received an outpouring of positive responses, with many saying "thank you" to the brand for featuring a Sikh model.
But vandals in New York City scrawled "Make Bombs" and "Stop driving taxis" on a print poster of the ad. A photo of the graffiti-covered ad was posted by Arsalan Iftikhar, a Muslim writer and news commentator, on Twitter.
The photo went viral on Twitter and drew outraged reaction from users. The corporate Twitter account for GAP then joined in the conversation, asking where the vandalized poster was.
Gap then changed their Twitter account photo to an image of the poster showing Ahluwalia and Jones and issued a statement defending their ads and Ahluwalia.
"Gap is a brand that celebrates inclusion and diversity. Our customers and employees are of many different ethnicities, faiths, and lifestyles and we support them all."