H&M has sparked a wave of criticism after posting a promotional image of a black child model in a hoodie emblazoned with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
Marketing fail. H&M puts a black child in a hoodie that reads: "I'm the coolest monkey in the jungle." And the white child is the "survival expert." And now folks are pretending like they don't know that black children have long been racially characterized as monkeys. pic.twitter.com/A90GWeSOEq
— Stacey Patton (@DrStaceyPatton) January 8, 2018
H&M’s apology was tired & delayed, it’s pretty much “sorry if we offended you” girl boo, I don’t believe it was intentionally racist , but it goes to show ignorance towards racial connotations & lack of diversity in high positions in companies is still obliviously relevant in ‘18
— Francisco. (@HelloFrancisco_) January 8, 2018
What baffles me is these things are signed off on. They go through multiple control/check points yet NOBODY thought this was a bad idea? H&M? Really? pic.twitter.com/r6S4NkKTTa
— Chandler Bing (@EtoEtomi9) January 8, 2018
The clothing retailer has apologised in a statement, which also confirmed the “image has now been removed from all H&M channels”.
Two other images of white children wearing items in the same range remain on the site featuring slogans like “mangrove jungle” and “official survival expert”.
Many customers took to social media to express their outrage, with some threatening to boycott H&M.