H&M is coming under fire after having a black child model pose in a hoodie with the words "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" across the front. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow first tweeted about the item, and people were quick to respond due to the racist overtones of the photo and the fact that using the term "monkey" in reference to black people is a racial slur.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
Initially, H&M issued a brief response to the massive blunder via the New York Daily News. "This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended." Two days later, with many still unsatisfied with the fashion retailer's response, H&M released a more comprehensive statement, emailing customers and posting a press release on their website "unequivocally" apologizing for what they describe as the accidental release of a poorly judged image and product. In their statement, H&M writes, "racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda." In addition to the updated apology, they pulled all of the controversial hoodies from stores.
Music superstar The Weeknd has also spoken out. He tweeted the image and wrote "woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I'm deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore. . ." And he's not alone — keep scrolling to see other reactions to this tone-deaf ad.