Swedish fashion brand H&M has apologized after outrage poured out surrounding an ad many deemed racist. The retail company was selling a children’s hoodie modeled by a Black boy which read, “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle.”
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” H&M spokeswoman Anna Eriksson told CNN Money Monday, Jan. 8.
The controversy erupted Sunday night when Twitter users sounded off on the apparel, which was sold on the retailer’s UK and US websites.
H&M @hm YOURE CANCELED. When you know about Ota Benga’s story, things like this enrage you even more. Don’t think we’re not onto your racist propaganda. It just blows my mind how often big corporations wanna try us everyday. pic.twitter.com/LfGhsO3iAv
— Anima (@Anima_Agyeman) January 8, 2018
What fresh hell is this…
Oh but it's a cute hoodie. Nah. You ain't gonna have a little black boy modeling this when Trayvon and Tamir's killers are free. And racist out here still calling black folks "porch monkeys". Shame on @hm Why representation matters… #hireblackfolks https://t.co/miUXD7x8dY
— Ria (@mamanerd22) January 8, 2018
— ★Ms.Kiyiekah♤ (@RawkinsLizzie) January 8, 2018
Several had called for a boycott of the company.
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
— Awf_1nation (@Awf_1nation) January 8, 2018
Boycott all kind of production by #H&M Ethiopians must demand the companies March out from z country with one way Ticket. #BlackLives & #BlackRespectMatters @OromiaMedia @ESATtv @addisstandard company who see black as a monkey in 21st century shouldn’t exist in African continent https://t.co/ABMS4LmLgN
— Asnaketch Woldetensa (@AWoldetensa) January 8, 2018
— Shayla Hale (@Shayla_Hale) January 8, 2018
Yet others didn’t see an issue.
Other Racist Fashion Pieces Like H&M
You’re just interpreting it as something racist when it’s just modelling, this is what’s wrong with people like you, take offence when something is done with no harming intention
— Kwame (@jkwjohn1) January 7, 2018
People who see this as racist are calling the kid a monkey. If you’re matching the monkey connotation to the child then surely you’re calling him a monkey.
I see a lovely black boy. And a cute little monkey jumper. Anyone see anything else?
— 💄 (@Shnapped) January 7, 2018
And some weren’t backing up the boycott, either.
Y'all think imma Boycott H&M ? Lol pic.twitter.com/oVYBkFedh5
— Mr.Gibson (@365imfly) January 8, 2018
Y'all can boycott H&M all day. I might finally not have to stand in long lines when I go give them my coins.
— unacceptable (@juiceboxmisha) January 8, 2018