Thursday 22 March 2018

H&M says sorry over black child in 'coolest monkey' hoodie

H&M has issued an apology for the picture of the boy. Photo: PA
H&M has issued an apology for the picture of the boy. Photo: PA
H&M has issued an apology for the picture of the boy. Photo: PA

Olivia Rudgard

A leading fashion chain has apologised after its website featured a black child model wearing a 'coolest monkey in the jungle' hoodie.

H&M faced criticism online from people accusing it of being "inappropriate", "disgusting" and "negligent".

The image of the model wearing the green monkey sweater has been removed from its website, while two others featuring different designs in the same category and modelled by white children remain.

One bears the words 'mangrove jungle' or 'official survival expert', while the other has outlines of various animals including giraffes and tigers.

Referring to the green top, UK Labour MP Kate Osamor tweeted: "I was totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least to find this online imagine. @hm do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?"

The Weeknd, a Canadian R'n'B star who has produced menswear collections with the chain, said he was cutting ties with the company.

Alex Medina, who works in brand design, said it was negligent to place a black child in a top with such a slogan, while white children wore others.

He tweeted: "In the year 2018 there's no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. We have to do better."

A person tweeting under the handle @vulkaanrots said: "So the black kid gets to wear the H&M sweater with 'coolest monkey in the jungle' and the white kid with 'survival expert'. This is beyond disgusting.

"It's a projection of your neocolonial thinking. You won't see me anywhere near your shops these days @hm."

A spokeswoman for the retailer said: "This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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