H&M is facing backlash for an ad many are saying is racially insensitive.
After clothing retailer H&M received backlash for an advertisement many people and celebrities are criticizing as racist, Diddy has offered the young model a million dollar modeling contract with his clothing brand Sean John, according to BET.
The ad in question features a black boy wearing a hoodie that reads, “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.” It quickly went viral and received widespread denouncement from the public. In a tweet, The Weekend announced he would end his collaboration with H&M on his XO brand.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” the singer tweeted. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore…”
woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore… pic.twitter.com/P3023iYzAb— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Rapper G-Eazy took to Instagram to announce he too is ending his partnership with the retailer.
“Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable,” G-Eazy wrote. “I can’t allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen.”
Despite the vocal criticisms of H&M, the mother of the young boy, Terry Mango, defended the ad and said that nothing was wrong with it. She said she didn’t understand the backlash.
“This is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled,” Mango said. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue…”
H&M issued a statement regarding the photo and apologized for allowing it to be printed. The ad has been removed from circulation and the hoodie is no longer being sold.
“We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie,” the statement reads. “We, who work at H&M, can only agree. 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.”
“We would like to put on record our position in relation to the controversial image of our hoodie,” it continued. “Our position is simple — we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. We have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities — and we have not lived up to that responsibility this time. This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused. We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment. We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future.”
As of now, there is no word on if the boy model has accepted Diddy’s offer to work for him.