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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# Racism
H&M issues apology after using image of black child wearing 'monkey' hoodie
The black child in the photo was wearing a hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle”.

CLOTHING RETAILER H&M has apologised this morning after it posted an image on its online store of a black child model wearing a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle”.

The company has since removed the image from its website. It said that the hoodie would be removed from its stores worldwide. Two other images featuring different designs modelled by white children remain online.

The image caused a social media storm this morning, with thousands branding the image racist.

Canadian rapper The Weeknd was amongst those to criticise the image. He announced on Twitter this morning that he will be ended his collaboration with the fashion company as a result of the image.

“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore,” he wrote.

H&M has released a statement apologising for the image.

“We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree,” the statement said.

We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering.

“It’s obvious that our routines haven’t been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We’ll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”

NBA star LeBron James posted an edited version of the photo on his Instagram with the child wearing a king’s crown.

Directed at H&M, LeBron said: “You got us all wrong. And we ain’t going for it. We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong.”

Rapper and music producer Diddy also posted an edited version of the photo on Instagram, replacing the phrase on the hoodie with the words “coolest king in the world”.

In April 2017, Skincare brand Nivea removed an advert that was criticised as discriminatory and racist.

Promoting its invisible deodorant range, it featured a woman photographed from the back with the message “white is purity”.

Similarly, that month drinks giant Pepsi took down a new advert featuring reality TV star Kendall Jenner after it sparked outrage for commercialising protesters and making light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Read: Nivea pulls ‘racist’ advert that bore the message ‘white is purity’

More: Pepsi pulls ‘tone deaf’ Kendall Jenner protest ad after sustained backlash

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