While most of Black Hollywood (and Black America, period) were upset at retail giant H&M for using a Black child model to sell a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,” hoodie, it appears his mother, Terry Mango, was not even bothered. Okay!
In case you missed it, a controversial photo of a young, Black model sporting a hoodie with the phrase “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,” was screengrabbed from H&M’s U.K. site, and immediately went viral. Given the historical racist connotation of Black people and monkeys, many felt that the the hoodie was racially-insensitive. Needless to say, the internet was in an uproar. Everyone from music artist and social media personality Chris Classic, to NBA star Lebron James reacted to the H&M hoodie, forcing the brand to both apologize and pull the item from their shops. Supporters even went as far as to recreate positive images of a would-be hoodie, that highlighted the young boy as everything from a leader to a king.
Not surprisingly, folks began to question the whereabouts of the child’s parents, and whether they were around for the initial photo shoot. Surprisingly, however, not only was the child’s mother present, but she also didn’t see the big deal. According to sources, the model’s mother, Terry Mango, recently took to social media to address the issue:
“[I] am the mum, and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, [it’s] an unnecessary issue here. Get over it.. That’s my son, [I’ve] been to all photoshoots and this was not an exception. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this… I really don’t understand but not [because I’m] choosing not to, but because it’s not my way of thinking. Sorry.”
Well, I guess she told us (side eye)! It’s no secret that race is a leading issue and topic of discussion in most of the world, but especially, in Western, American culture. Many people, from Europeans to American’s themselves, have expressed our nation’s obsession with race— is it possible that the cultural indifferences of Mango’s European residency and upbringing blinded her to the color issue here? Who knows.
One thing for sure, shout out to Black and White people everywhere, who took a stand against H&M. Not in 2018, ya’ll won’t!