H&M continues to try to amend its relationship with customers following the racist hoodie debacle. The Swedish retailer on Tuesday announced it has appointed a global leader to address diversity.
“The recent incident was entirely unintentional, but it demonstrates so clearly how big our responsibility is as a global brand,” the company’s Jan. 16 Facebook statement read. “We have reached out, around the world, inside and outside H&M to get feedback. Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, therefore we have appointed a global leader, in this area, to drive our work forward.
“There will be more from us soon,” it added.
Longtime H&M staffer Annie Wu, who currently serves as global manager for employee relations, will become the new global leader for diversity and inclusiveness, according to an email sent to the Associated Press.
H&M is in its second week of damage control following an outcry over an ad featuring Liam Mango, a 5-year-old Black model, in a hoodie that read, “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle.”
The controversy became so harsh that members of the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa toppled displays in local stores to let the brand know their feelings. After a brief closure, the stores reopened with tight security.
All this before Liam’s parents, Terry and Frank Mango, spoke out about the incident on British television. They said they’ve had to move from their home in Sweden as a result of the backlash, which Terry Mango initially brushed off saying, “stop crying wolf.”