H&M Apologizes After ‘Coolest Monkey’ Sweatshirt Ad Featuring Black Child Prompts Backlash
Clothing company H&M has apologized after unveiling a new advertisement campaign featuring a young black child in a sweatshirt that had the lettering “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” splayed across the front.
The fast fashion retailer was selling the printed hooded top for $9 before removing the ad.
“We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States,” wrote H&M in a statement obtained by Fox News. “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”
H&M was slammed with negative feedback shortly after the ad was pushed online, with many social media users threatening a boycott of the company.
Can’t be more confused and disgusted. H&M decided to put the black boy in a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoody and the white boy in a “Survival Expert” hoody. Can’t believe it’s 2018 and this offensive sickening racism still exists. We all must boycott H&M till they apologize. pic.twitter.com/OdynDKupjS
— BASH (@XIBash) January 8, 2018
“We all must boycott H&M till they apologize,” said one Twitter user.
Others, though, noted that an apology wouldn’t necessarily rectify the underlying attitude.
“Sis said ‘Boycott H&M until they apologize’ mind you someone apologizing for being ‘racist’ doesn’t mean they’re not still racist. You just want them to be racist quietly,” said a Twitter user.
Still others noted that H&M doesn’t have the most quality offerings, suggesting it would be better to shop elsewhere.
In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better. pic.twitter.com/Av4bS4t6yn
— alex medina (@mrmedina) January 8, 2018
“Imma be honest, i didn’t know people actually shopped at H&M still. Shouldn’t be nothing to boycott lol why are y’all there to begin with?” said the user.
However, not everyone was offended. Some defended the brand.
“Of course the internet is triggered by the H & M ‘Coolest Monkey In The Jungle’ hoodie. When I first saw it, I just said nice hoodie,” said one Twitter user.
“Tbh prolly wouldn’t mind wearing the same thing. Y’all just looking to be offended.”