People have been calling for a boycott of H&M after the clothing company ran an advert of a young black boy wearing a hoodie that says ‘the coolest monkey in the jungle’.
Can’t be more confused and disgusted. H&M decided to put the black boy in a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoody and the white boy in a “Survival Expert” hoody. Can’t believe it’s 2018 and this offensive sickening racism still exists. We all must boycott H&M till they apologize. pic.twitter.com/OdynDKupjS— BASH (@XIBash) January 8, 2018
Comparing black people to monkeys is an age old racist slur, and it seems like a pretty big mistake to make to put a young brown boy in a hoodie that proudly proclaims him to be ‘a monkey’ even though the term ‘cheeky monkeys’ if often also used to describe young children with energetic attitudes. H&M has since changed the advert to feature only a jumper without no model wearing it. However, accusations followed that the response came too late, with others calling the apology "empty".
Singer The Weeknd has weighed in to the debate and talked about his disappointment with the company, choosing to sever ties with them and move on after several successful clothing collaborations. In an attempt to explain what went wrong, H&M issued the following statement
“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally. It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
It's good to hear an honest apology, but questions are being raised about how the decision was taken at all. Are there not checks to prevent this type of thing from happening?