H&M's 'Monkey' Ad Sets Twitter on Fire After The Weeknd Cuts Ties With Company
Questlove among other celebrities following The Weeknd’s lead by calling out the fashion retailer for black boy in “monkey” sweatshirt.
The Weeknd was not the only one who "woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed" by H&M’s controversial online ad, which showed a black child wearing a hoodie that read, "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle."
Outrage was flowing from celebrities, comedians and the general public — many of whom were fans of the the international fashion retail giant — over the insensitive photo.
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Questlove, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" cast member Karamo Brown and German-Ghanaian soccer player Kevin-Prince Boateng were among those denouncing the brand for its racist advertisement. Others were displeased with H&M’s apology, which read: "We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues."
The Weeknd — who launched his own line with the company last year — ended up cutting ties with H&M. Others followed suit, vowing to boycott the brand.
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But this isn’t the first time the Sweden-based chain has been under fire for racial and cultural insensitivity. In 2015, H&M faced backlash for its lack of black models in its South Africa division. In response to the criticism, the company released a statement via Twitter that suggested white models conveyed more positivity. Then in 2013, H&M was forced to pull feathered headdresses from its stores following complaints from Canadian customers, who said the product made fun of First Nation tribal customs.
See all the heat directed at H&M in the tweets below.
woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore… pic.twitter.com/P3023iYzAb
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible. You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent… and you put this on your website! 😡😡😡😡 “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” #SMHpic.twitter.com/IY877D2d8R
— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) January 8, 2018
. @hm, have you lost your damned minds?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/EYuCXLZtv3
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
Every company should invest in training that encompasses cultural competency and sensitivity. It is absolutely necessary. @hmpic.twitter.com/efMR0oL3jx
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) January 8, 2018
I’m sure the apologies are a coming. And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media… https://t.co/NuTJTkGg1q
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) January 8, 2018
Are you serious @hm ?????? #havetheylostthereminds#notoracismpic.twitter.com/FS4nonw4qQ
— Kevin-Prince Boateng (@KPBofficial) January 8, 2018
Every black dollar better stop going to @hm from now on.
— Kaylen Zahara (@amazedbykay) January 8, 2018
@hm@hmusa you have 12 hours to take down this racist ad #boycottHandMpic.twitter.com/gmSzR5Ea6B
— Tracey Baker-Simmons (@tbakersimmons) January 8, 2018
Let’s flip the script 🙌🏾 #HMpic.twitter.com/RSab2l267i
— Hannah Agboola (@Hannahagboola_) January 8, 2018
@hm so racist, “coolest monkey in the jungle” you guys should be ashamed of yourselves pic.twitter.com/ftcqpvyNwb
— EmersonV215_ (@emyval28) January 8, 2018
It’s 2018 and all H&M can do is be racist!!! @hm you can do better. pic.twitter.com/It6xS4yRt0
— ★Ms.Kiyiekah♤ (@RawkinsLizzie) 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… #hireblackfolkshttps://t.co/miUXD7x8dY
— Ria (@mamanerd22) January 8, 2018
.@hm this is inappropriate, offensive, and racist. Why is the white kid “a jungle survivor” and the black kid the “coolest monkey in the jungle”? How do you think this is okay? REMOVE this and the clothing piece. This is completely distasteful! #racist#hmhttps://t.co/uati7eI0Iopic.twitter.com/WSF9Wiksio
— Selene Arianela (@ArianelaSelene) January 8, 2018
I am appalled that @hm marketing team could be so careless and insensitive. Rather than releasing an official apology, the company decided to finally acknowledge the incident in response to an Instagram comment. I’m sorry, but an Instagram response does not suffice. pic.twitter.com/DROA1Ri6Cu
— Micah Wood (@micahj24) January 8, 2018
@hm Nothing to say? Your Online team should be fired. Your digital VP should be fired. Maybe not shopping you will help you get that.#boycottHandM#resist#handmracist pic.twitter.com/erVPshg9JW
— Denee Davis (@Dekis301) January 8, 2018
@hm y’all got over a million employees. Not one person said “hey that shirt might not be a great idea.”
— Lil Sad Boy (@cole_szpara) January 8, 2018
Hi @hm this is not ACCEPTED. This is what happens when your regional marketing department are a bunch of BIGOTS pic.twitter.com/3gmIRzqPx0
— Moorish Moon (@MimsJDoe) January 8, 2018
Dear Black Baby Jesus,
Please tell me @hm didn’t wrap u in its monkey hoodie & didn’t think Holy Spirit we have a problem! I’ll never online shop after this! Oh & guide @Beyonce 2 snatch her collaboration, w/ them like she snatch wigs! In ur name we pray! #slayman#mondaymistakepic.twitter.com/jcZjCbbMVP
— Core-Lew (@Cllewis133) January 8, 2018
Im starting to think”these people” are being racist for publicity!This is racist & insensitive.This beautiful boy doesn’t even know what @hm is making out of him!A whole team shootin&no1 saw whats wrong with THIS #hm#h&m #boycotth&m #racist#GoldenGlobes2018@balleralertpic.twitter.com/yfspBxFqAB
— 0690.16 – موناليزا (@bkmsang) January 8, 2018
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