The mother of the boy in the maligned “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” advertisement has slammed critics who called the sweatshirt and ad campaign racist.
Fast fashion retailer H&M posted the sweatshirt in their online store several days ago, but soon took it down amid numerous complaints.
“Can’t believe it’s 2018 and this offensive sickening racism still exists. We all must boycott H&M till they apologize,” said one Twitter user. Many others shared similar thoughts.
Following the backlash, the retailer apologized for the sweatshirt and 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,” the company said in a statement.
But now the mother of the black boy featured in the images has lashed back at the critics, telling them: “Get over it.”
Terry Mango of Stockholm, Sweden, created a series of Facebook posts—later deleted—in which she said she didn’t approve of the backlash.
I have this same mother of this boy on my page trending on Facebook I made screenshot of what she said to this post and everyone is shouting ????her name is terry mango@billboardhiphop @KraksTV @bellanaija @lindaikeji @theweeknd pic.twitter.com/dZWSBGwMGo
— ?HUNCHO? (@oluwa_popoola) January 9, 2018
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled,” Mango wrote, according to screenshots of the posts taken before she took them down. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here … get over it.”
Mango continued, “If I bought that jumper and put it on him and posted it on my pages, would that make me racist? I get pples [sic] opinion, but they are not mine.”
Mango noted she was with her son at the modeling session for the sweatshirt, as she is during all the sessions.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this,” Mango wrote. “I really don’t understand but not coz [sic] am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
@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??????⚖️??⚖️
A number of celebrities and high-profile public figures spoke out against the post, including NBA star LeBron James.
“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!” James wrote in a post showing the boy wearing a crown accompanied by the words “King of the World.”
In addition, the R&B star The Weeknd even ended his partnership with the retailer over the ad.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.”
The Mango family is from Nairobi, Kenya, according to Mango’s Facebook page.
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