H&M was forced to remove an ad after getting complaints about a children’s sweatshirt for sale.
The clothing in question: a green hoodie, modeled by a black boy, with the phrase: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”
H&M removed the item from its website after hundreds of social media users accused the ad of being racist.
“We sincerely apologize for this image,” said an H&M spokesperson. “It has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do, and will be reviewing our internal routines.”
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The image of the unsmiling child, who stares at the camera with his hands in his pockets, appeared on the U.K. version of the Swedish retailer’s online store. It cost £7.99, equivalent to about $11.
Social media users raged against the Swedish retailing giant, which has several brick and mortar locations in South Florida, including South Beach and Aventura.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow tweeted a picture of the ad, addressing H&M with the caption, “Have you lost your damned minds?”
Others placed the blame not on the store but on the model’s parents, who they say should have stepped in.
Another user took a totally different, more philosophical view: That we all used to be monkeys, so the hoodie would be racist even if a white child were wearing it.