H&M Apologizes For ad Of Black Boy In ‘Coolest Monkey’ Hoodie
Swedish fashion brand, H&M have attracted a strong social media backlash after what most people considered a racist photo appeared on their website.
The said photo showed two boys wearing hoodies on H&M’s United Kingdom store website. It turned out that the inscription on the respective apparels was the source of the Twitter outrage.
Whereas the white boy’s hoodie read: “Mangrove Jungle Survival Expert,” that of the black boy was “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.”
CNN quotes a company spokesperson as saying H&M was sorry if the ad offended people: “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.” That has done little to appease persons angered at the photos.
There are those that are calling for persons associated with the photos to be fired, others are calling for a boycott of the brand. A number of people literally announced their boycott of H&M via Twitter.
“In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better,” an art director Alex Medina of Vox Media tweeted.
One Twitter user, Mimicgawd, gave a cartoon rendition of the racist photo: “Coolest kid in the racist a** H&M catalog,” the new inscription read.
“It was a horribly insensitive combination of memes,” said Bruce Turkel, executive creative director of Miami-based firm Turkel Brands. “People will forget. Trouble will happen if they don’t fix their approval process and something like this happens again, because each time it does, this issue will be brought up again.”
This isn’t the first time the Sweden-based retail chain’s has been criticized for racial and ethnic insensitivity. In 2015, it drew fire after its South Africa division featured no black models. When questioned about the lack of diversity, H&M’s tweeted response suggested that white models conveyed more positivity. And in 2013, H&M pulled feathered headdresses from its stores after Canadian customers complained it made fun of First Nation tribal customs.