Swedish clothing retail brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has come under fire and faces accusations of racism following the release of an image from its boys' fashion range.
The uproar started on Sunday evening when Twitter users noticed that H&M was advertising a green hooded top that read “Coolest monkey in the jungle”, which was being modelled by a young black boy.
Some Twitter users have demanded an explanation of how something of this nature could be allowed to happen, questioning how this advert could have gone through an entire marketing team without anyone noticing.
By Monday morning, the UK H&M site, which had posted the advert, had withdrawn it and the image of the boy in the garment could not be found.
Amelia-May Woudstra from H&M group’s press and communications department said: “We sincerely apologise for offending customers with an image of a printed hooded top that was published on selected global online channels. "The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in South Africa."
Meanwhile local celebrities have added their voices, mostly stating that they will no longer associate themselves with the brand.
If you think the H&M advert isn't an issue , please try calling a Black person a monkey or baboon to their face and report back what happened! pic.twitter.com/ZNKlVzVRdA— Siv Ngesi (@iamSivN) January 9, 2018
You’ll never see me at H&M.— R.M Phoolo (@CassperNyovest) January 8, 2018
I see H&M is being racist, AGAIN! SMH— leratokganyago (@leratokganyago) January 8, 2018
If the theme was the “Jungle”, why couldn’t he be a Lion or a Tiger? Why was the black child picked as “The coolest MONKEY”? pic.twitter.com/SzMjnQDMDd— leratokganyago (@leratokganyago) January 8, 2018
Nah fam. Im an art director too. And many times we've taken a pic with a plain top (cause the design hasn't been approved) and then we photoshopped it on in post. At the end of the day. it's foul of h&m to do this. Very foul. https://t.co/Bd1XenZSLz— #TopSeven👌🏾 (@ReasonHD) January 8, 2018