Popular clothing brand H&M recently posted an advertisement on their website of a young African American boy modeling a sweatshirt reading “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” The company has since received a huge amount of scrutiny across social media, with many critics believing the advertisement carries racist undertones.
The image appeared on the British version of the Swedish retailer’s website.
In an interview with the Washington Post, H&M apologized for the advertisement, “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.”
H&M explained that they will be investigating the image: “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.”
Several celebrities have taken note of this advertisement and shared their disappointment in H&M on Twitter and Instagram.
NBA star Lebron James posted an altered version of the image on Instagram giving the boy a crown and removing the words from the sweatshirt. He said, “Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!!”
@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🤴🏾👸🏾👨🏾⚖️👩🏾⚖️
Designer Alex Medina tweeted, “In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness…. We have to do better.”
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
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