You would think that in 2017, major companies would be sensitive to avoid anything that might appear even remotely racist.
H&M stores are now under fire after featuring a hoodie on their website modeled by a black child. The problem is with the wording on the hoodie: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” An image of the listing, including a picture of the child model, is included below.
As you might expect, the outrage was quick and fierce.
The ad’s been yanked and the company issued an apology, albeit pretty tone-deaf: “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. This image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States.”
Some of the outrage included some tweets at the company asking, “How on earth can this be? SHAME ON YOU!” and, “Have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!” Ditto.
H&M’s day got worse after singer The Weeknd, who had partnered on several promotions with the company, saw the picture and cut ties with them.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has twice collaborated with H&M and performed at the brand’s Spring 2017 fashion show. However, he tweeted on Monday that he will no longer be working with the retailer.
While sharing a photo of the young boy wearing the conversational sweatshirt, the singer wrote: ‘Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…’
In a statement shared with Daily Mail Online, H&M said: ‘We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print.
‘We have removed the image from all our channels and the sweater is no longer for sale in our stores. We will also look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future. We will continue the discussion with The Weeknd and his team separately.’
The image has since been taken down from the site in the wake of the uproar, and H&M has issued a public apology after the photo prompted outrage on social media.
Here is the image of the child and the hoodie, which has since been removed from the website.
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