Not a good look, H&M!
The clothing giant got a lot of heat on Twitter after putting up pics of three new children’s hoodies on their U.K. site, including one with the slogan “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” (above).
That might sound benign under other circumstances, but it was modeled by a black child — the only one modeled by a black child.
Considering “monkey” has historically been used as a racial epithet, people were not too happy with the brand.
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. pic.twitter.com/Av4bS4t6yn
— alex medina (@mrmedina) January 8, 2018
Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’?
More casual racism from H&M. This is nothing new when it comes to these clothing companies like Abercrombie and Tommy Hilfilger who have a long history of using their products to convey racist messages. https://t.co/6XwimxngCS
— Makkim (@Makkim77) January 8, 2018
People know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent and @hm pulls a stunt like this 🤦🏽♂️. This ad is inappropriate, offensive, disgusting and racist. #CoolestMonkeyintheJungle #HM pic.twitter.com/lQ95IMmTOw
— ✌HOZAY✌️ (@crazyhozay) January 8, 2018
It’s freaking 2018! @hm how did you get this wrong? 🤦Representation matters but you clearly missed the mark with this! #dobetter #coolestmonkeyinthejungle pic.twitter.com/XgijoMh6dN
— Rochelle (@steppingdoll) January 8, 2018
After the backlash, H&M spokeswoman Anna Eriksson released a statement, saying:
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.”
It’s possible some people in the Swedish company didn’t see the racial implications, but NO ONE involved in the process to get this online noticed? Really??
What do YOU think?
[Image via H&M.]