Clothing retailer H&M has issued an apology for an image appearing on their U.K. site featuring a Black child model wearing a hooded sweatshirt reading “coolest monkey in the jungle.” The company removed the image from its website and will pull the boys top from its stores nationwide, according to The New York Times.
Read their full apology below.
Unfortunately for the company, it’s too little, too late for some. H&M endorser and pop superstar The Weeknd has cancelled his collaboration with the brand following this debacle.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
The historical and demeaning comparison between Black people and monkeys wasn’t lost on consumers, who immediately called out the retail giant for being insensitive at best and casually racist at worst.
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Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’?
I mean. What. pic.twitter.com/6AJfMdQS4L
— Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) January 7, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.