.@hm this is inappropriate, offensive, and racist. Why is the white kid "a jungle survivor" and the black kid the "coolest monkey in the jungle"? How do you think this is okay? REMOVE this and the clothing piece. This is completely distasteful! #racist #hm https://t.co/uati7eI0Io pic.twitter.com/WSF9Wiksio— Selene Arianela (@ArianelaSelene) January 8, 2018
Someone in the marketing team of fashion giant, H&M, really needs a lesson in racial sensitivity — because their promotional strategies are disgusting.
H&M was slammed by various customers and rightly so, after the high-end clothing company featured an Africa-American kid wearing a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”
In stark juxtaposition, the ad next to it featured a white kid in a hoodie that read, “Jungle survival expert.”
The unpleasant image was placed on H&M’s UK and US websites.
People are now questioning the fashion store for the repugnant promotion of hoodies.
For many users on the internet, the images were “inappropriate", "offensive" and "racist." and they are slamming H&M on Twitter for this “casual racism.”
It is pertinent to note the term “monkey” has long been used as a racial slur for people of color.
Dear @hm,— Divinely Ty (@DivinelyTy) January 8, 2018
Here’s why your ad has caused outrage: There is painful history of dehumanizing black people by comparing us to monkeys and apes. Your ad features a black child in a sweatshirt that says “coolest monkey in the jungle”. 1+1=2 You should have known better #boycottHandM
It quite boggles the mind how H&M marketing strategy could be anything but terrible racism on the part of its marketing team, seeing all their ads need to go through multiple layers of review before they are posted.
After severe backlash, H&M apologized on SBS News. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.”
But the damage has been done and several infuriated customers threatened to boycott the brand.
H&M PROVES TO THE WORLD THAT THEY ARE RACIST...DONT SCREAM BLACK LIVES MATTER ...LETS SHOW THEM HOW BLACK DOLLARS MATTER #BoycottHandM #BoycottHM #HM #BlackDollarsMatter #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/Sxqbt4C99T— Black GA Lobbyist (@SirMaejor) January 8, 2018
This is absolutely shameful @hmfrance @hm ...— Tamil Censor (@TamilCensor) January 8, 2018
We are in 2018 and still there is some disgusting racist people who try to prone their disgusting idea ..
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS !!!#boycotthm #boycottHandM #H&M pic.twitter.com/nvnNJSRNPy
Really @hm @hmusa this how y’all feel? So no one your marketing department told y’all this is in bad taste & can be looked at as extremely offensive to a group of people? Steps in the wrong direction smh #boycottHandM pic.twitter.com/G8Brwf5x8X— Trap Jesus (@DaReal_McCoy) January 8, 2018
PLEASE tell me this isn’t real. https://t.co/rX22RHQ7LC— Cousin Angela (@angela_rye) January 8, 2018
@hm you owe the entire #BlackCommunity a deep apology for this offensive clothing line - Who the hell is in charge of your MARKETING & MERCHANDISING?? #Boycotthandm #hm #boycottHM #BlackLivesMatter #SirMaejor pic.twitter.com/gwGcjSLWyX— Official BLM Atlanta (@OfficialBLMATL) January 8, 2018
However, this isn’t the first time popular brands promoted blatant racism.
Last year, Dove drew the ire of public after its racist ad promoted the transformation of a black woman into a white woman. A bottle of Dove body wash sat before the women on the bathroom counter.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Regis Duvignau