H&M slammed for showing black child in 'monkey' sweatshirt, apologises

H&M apologized for running this advertisement for a hoodie. (H&M website) Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 09, 2018, 04.25 AM (IST)

International clothes retailer brand H&M recently got in the middle of a controversy after it ran a series of online advertisements on their new line of slogan sweatshirts for kids -- in which a black child was seen wearing a sweatshirt with 'Coolest monkey in the jungle' written on it.

H&M, however, soon apologised for its treatment of the ad and published a post: “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.”

The matter escalated as black people, in general, have been for years compared to monkeys, labelling them as the closest to the primates. 

Social media did not spare the brand after it saw the advertisement as racially insensitive and derogatory. Twitteratis took out pictures of all kids featured and compared how the white kids had things like 'Survival expert' or animals printed on sweatshirts. 

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In the middle of the storm, the brand suffered a loss after its brand ambassador, singer The Weeknd terminated its contract with them.

He wrote on Twitter: “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore . . . ”

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Also, NBA star LeBron James posted an altered version of the photo on Instagram, superimposing a picture of a crown over the original print and offering a word of encouragement.

He wrote: “Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!!”

The online advertisements were put up on the Swedish clothing retailer's website in Britain.