Following the Change.org petition created by L'Sean Rinique Shelton, which states that Target has "disrespected" Wallis and that the model in the campaign "does not speak to the relevance of the movie or main character," Target responded in a statement issued to Fox411.
The statement reads, "Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie… As for the involvement of Quvenzhane Wallis, we had conversations with her team about being in the campaign, but ultimately it did not come to fruition. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of working with Ms. Wallis a number of times, including appearances at Target's sales meeting in September and a launch event in New York City in November. We had a great experience working with Ms. Wallis and appreciate her efforts in promoting this collection."
In the petition, with currently 10,969 supporters, Shelton requested that Target remove the ads and issue an apology to Wallis.
Directed by Will Gluck, the film features a screenplay by Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical stage play Annie by Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music) and Martin Charnin (lyrics). Click here to read the critics' reviews.
The film also features three new songs written by Sia and Greg Kurstin.
The film also stars David Zayas ("Dexter," "Oz," Anna in the Tropics) as Lou, the local bodega owner; Golden Globe nominee Cameron Diaz ("There's Something About Mary") as Miss Hannigan; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ("Thor: The Dark World," "Pompeii") as Nash, the bodyguard and driver for Benjamin Stacks; Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx as Stacks, a potential mayoral candidate; Tony Award nominee Bobby Cannavale (The Big Knife, The Motherf**ker with the Hat) as a tough political adviser to Stacks; and Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne ("Damages") as Grace.