Broadway community slams Wells Fargo for ads minimizing the arts

Wells Fargo tweeted an apology Saturday afternoon after an ad campaign for a teen financial literacy day drew fire from the arts community.

"We offer our sincere apology for the initial ads promoting our Sept. 17 Teen Financial Education Day," the tweet read.

A Facebook post from the company read: "Wells Fargo is deeply committed to the arts, and we offer our sincere apology for the initial ads promoting our Sept. 17 Teen Financial Education Day. They were intended to celebrate all the aspirations of young people and fell short of that goal. We are making changes to the campaign’s creative that better reflect our company’s core value of embracing diversity and inclusion, and our support of the arts. Last year, Wells Fargo’s support of the arts, culture and education totaled $93 million."

The ads, which showed teens with the words "A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today." and "An actor yesterday. A botanist today." drew ire from those within and outside the arts community. Some felt they were disparaging or belittling to arts careers.

Broadway bigwigs Laura Benanti, Alex Brightman, Anthony Rapp, Lesli Margherita, Cynthia Erivo and many others inside the arts community weighed in before Wells Fargo's apology.

In addition to anger, many also were quick to point out that a classic musical even contains a song about the company — "Wells Fargo Wagon" from "The Music Man."


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