H&M, a high street fashion chain, was forced to formally apologize after its online store posted a ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ green hoodie ad featuring a black child model.
H&M was torched online by social media users accusing the company of being inappropriate, disgusting, and negligent for using a black child to model a hoodie with a racist and unacceptable slogan.
After facing heavy criticism, the company removed the ad from its online collection and pulled the hoodie from its stores worldwide. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended,” H&M told SBS News in a statement.
BOYCOTT @hm! Whose with me? @hmusa What universe do you live in that makes it okay to flaunt your racist ways in such an epic portion. I demand you remove this ad! This child is precious and should be treated as such! #boycottH&M #racists #coolestmonkeyinthejungle #notonmywatch pic.twitter.com/eY4f7nKxvi
— Alexandra Foucard (@AFoucard) January 8, 2018
Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’?
I mean. What. pic.twitter.com/6AJfMdQS4L
— Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) January 7, 2018
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
This is not the first time H&M has come under fire for a racial ‘error’. In 2015, after it opened its flagship store in Cape Town, H&M was criticized for hiring more white models than blacks in its global marketing campaign. Then in 2017, PETA torched H&M for selling a hoodie which bore the phrase, ‘Dogfight in a Random Alley,’ claiming it sent a dangerous message. In both cases, H&M had to apologize and mend ways.
H&M is also infamous for paying low wages and depriving basic human rights to its employees in developing countries. In 2013, H&M was one of many multinational clothing giants blamed for the deaths of over 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh after their factory collapsed.
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) January 8, 2018
I’m going to suggest that this is just a horribly inappropriate choice of design as opposed to intentionally racist – needless to say, @hm are going to have some explaining to do this morning. Product is still up: https://t.co/ZUfeMHztFF
— Mike Tinmouth #FBPE (@michaeltinmouth) January 8, 2018
I worked for them for years and they’re clueless sometimes. The head office in Sweden is very disconnected to issues of racism, cultural & social challenges. They seriously probably think this is cute.
— loveislove (@loveisloverey) January 8, 2018
Was it just a mishap or a marketing stunt? Please let us know in the comments section.