H&M has apologized for an ad featuring a young black boy wearing a hoodie with the word “monkey” on it.
Clothing retailer H&M is apologizing after fierce backlash over an ad that featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”
R&B star The Weekend, who had collaborated with the brand on men’s collections in the past, announced he will no longer work with H&M after seeing the image.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Celebrities like LeBron James and Snoop Dogg also weighed in, altering the image to put a crown on the boy’s head.
“HM u got us all wrong!” James wrote on Instagram. “And we ain’t going for it.”
The controversy raised the question of how the ad could have made it through the editing process to be publicly displayed.
“It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly,” H&M said in its statement. “This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
H&M’s stumble is the latest controversial ad to land a retailer in hot water. Urban Outfitters apologized in 2014 for a “blood-spattered” faux-vintage T-shirt that appeared to reference the 1970 shootings of unarmed students at Kent State. Another line of Native American-themed clothes and accessories drew protest from the Navajo Nationin 2011.
Shoppers on Amazon were outraged last year over a sweatshirt made by a company called ArturoBuch that appeared to promote anorexia. The New York fashion brand Uzi also faced criticism last year for its Refugee Dress.