Swedish multinational clothing retail company H&M on Monday faced severe criticism from social media users after it released an advertisement of a black child wearing a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
Social media users labelled the advertisement “racist”, and demanded that it be removed.
BOYCOTT @hm! Whose with me? @hmusa What universe do you live in that makes it okay to flaunt your racist ways in such an epic portion. I demand you remove this ad! This child is precious and should be treated as such! #boycottH&M #racists #coolestmonkeyinthejungle #notonmywatch pic.twitter.com/eY4f7nKxvi
— Alexandra Foucard (@AFoucard) January 8, 2018
As the controversy raged, the company altered the listing on its website, removing the black child and simply putting up the hoodie for sale. “We apologise to anyone this may have offended,” an unidentified spokesperson for H&M told The Independent.
The company is not a stranger to controversies. In November 2015, Tlalane Letlhaku, a South African, criticised H&M South Africa for the lack of diversity in its models. In its reply, the company said it wanted its marketing to “show our fashion in an inspiring way, to convey a positive feeling”.
@Tlaly_Branch We want our marketing to show our fashion in an inspiring way, to convey a positive feeling. 2/4
— hmsouthafrica (@hmsouthafrica) November 2, 2015