Popular clothing conglomerate, H&M have come under serious attack from consumers over what many have termed a racist advert the company put upon their website.
The ad featured a black boy wearing a sweatshirt with the inscription, “coolest monkey in the jungle” and was initially posted on the British version of the Swedish retailer’s online store before being removed after the company received serious backlash.
Some celebrities like The Weekend and LeBron James have spoken out about the ad registering their disgust and even cutting ties with the company over the image.
“I’m deeply offended,” the Weeknd wrote, “and will not be working with H&M anymore,” The Weekend said in a Twitter post about the incident. He had previously worked with the brand to launch two collections in 2017.
LeBron James said: “”@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up!”
“Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!”
“We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!! #LiveLaughLove❤️ #LoveMyPeople”
In response the company issued a somewhat lukewarm apology that did nothing to ease the growing tension in the fashion retail world.
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” the retailer told the Daily News.
The company later sent a much longer and more apologetic post to the Insider stating that some procedures were not followed which could be the only reason something like this happened.
“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.”
This is however not the first time the fashion giants are getting into hot water over racist slurs as in 2015 when the store launched a branch in South Africa and was asked why none of their models were black, they gave a response that sent a very racist message – “H&M has a major impact and it’s essential for us to convey a positive message.”