Celebrities blast H&M as racism storm hits retailer
Celebrities like The Weeknd, Diddy & LeBron James have asked H&M to account for an advert using a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan 'coolest monkey in the jungle'.
JOHANNESBURG - Retail clothing store H&M used a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle" and it did not sit well with all kinds of people.
Canadian singer The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, expressed how “deeply offended” he is and has now cut ties with the retailer.
The singer began his association with H&M in 2017, modeling in ad campaigns and collaborating on pieces for his XO brand.
He has since has dropped his association with fashion retailer.
H&M has apologised and removed the offending ad from its website.
The store’s spokesperson Anna Eriksson says that the company apologises to anyone who may have been offended.
The apology has not been accepted as more celebrities have continued to express outrage.
US basketball superstar, LeBron James, blasted the retailer on his Instagram saying “@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain't going for it! Straight up!”
@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🤴🏾👸🏾👨🏾⚖️👩🏾⚖️
Diddy, now known as Love, asked H&M to respect black people.
Put some respect on it!! When you look at us make sure you see royalty and super natural God sent glory!! Anything else is disrespectful. pic.twitter.com/QVaxgngwh1— Diddy (@Diddy) January 8, 2018
H&M’S MARKETING MESS
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.