H&M pulls ad after social media outcry over racism
Retail giant H&M has been forced to apologise for using a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan 'coolest monkey in the jungle'.
JOHANNESBURG - Retail giant H&M has been forced to apologise for using a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".
The company removed the offending ad from its website on Monday after hundreds of social media users accused it of being racist.
However, it continues to sell the hooded top online.
The image of the child in the hoodie appeared on the British version of the Swedish retailer's online store.
H&M spokesperson Anna Eriksson says that the company apologises to anyone who may have been offended.
H&M REALLY had a Black boy wearing a hoodie that says “coolest monkey in the jungle” on the front of it?— LEFT✍🏾 (@LeftSentThis) January 8, 2018
As much as I recognize the racism blatantly on display, as a parent of Black children, l have to wonder what in the hell were they doing signing off on this? pic.twitter.com/4IF9ehVMxS
He is just a model for H&M... it all started here..Racism pic.twitter.com/3TZNP56YfZ— Thabang Kgaladi (@ThabangKgaladi) January 8, 2018
This is not the first time that the clothing store has found itself the centre of public backlash over a racist advert.
When the retailer launched its first store in South Africa in 2015, it was criticised on Twitter for the lack of black models in its global marketing campaign.
A Twitter user asked them why they don’t have black models on their posters to which they responded: “H&M has a major impact and it’s essential for us to convey a positive message.”
H&M in South Africa is asked why they dont have black models for their clothes on posters & this is their response😷 pic.twitter.com/KyKtdHP8dQ— #VoteLabour (@Mballyonline) November 5, 2015
Twitter users were confused and offended by the response.
The clothing retail store later apologised.
(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)