A recently unveiled video simulation of renovations at the Westfield Montgomery Mall has some Patch readers talking, but the discussion isn't about what the mall's new food court and cinema will look like.
Rather, some commenters are asking why Westfield does not appear to include people of color in the animation. Westfield responded that no offense was intended.
The video "flies over" the mall's expanded food court and the entrance to the ArcLight Cinema planned for the second floor. And, while the animated food court is packed with simulated shoppers, none of them appear to be of color, some readers said.
Commenters are taking to Westfield's Facebook page and the comments on a Patch story about the new video to discuss whether diversity matters in an animation. Here's what a few had to say:
Simulation video by Westfield Montgomery Mall has absolutely no person of color shopping or eating. This is completely disgraceful and totally unacceptable. Westfield should be called on this and this simulation video has to be revised to correct this egregious omission. -- Patch commenter Carlos D
Carlos, there are also no kids in the video. The mall is usually crowded with kids/teenagers. Big deal? It's a computer generated simulation made to highlight the architecture and remodeling. Maybe it's a limitation of the computer program...or maybe some people need to turn down their sensitivity meter. Signed, A person of color. -- Patch commenter Terrell McLarson
Just a little friendly advice: next time you update your video (which is artistically very nice) you may want to include some of the ethnic diversity of Montgomery County. A few folks of color here and there would make it a bit more "representational." -- Westfield Facebook commenter M Paz Artaza-Regan
Responding to a request from Patch seeking comment, Westfield Montgomery spokeswoman Joanna Caputi wrote in an e-mail:
We appreciate the comments/feedback that we have received. Certainly no offense was intended, our only agenda in posting the fly through video was to offer a dramatic animation of the exciting new spaces for our customers to preview.
What do you think of the debate? Tell us in the comments.
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