Images: H&M logo/The Weeknd courtesy of GQ
Swedish clothing giant H&M is receiving an immense amount of criticism over an offensive ad featuring a young Black model sporting a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle”. It’s no surprise social media was in an uproar over H&M’s poor decision making by allowing the ad to be released in the first place. According to The Chicago Tribune, the company issued an apology in a statement to The Washington Post early today stating:
“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally. It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
After getting wind of the controversial ad, music superstar The Weeknd, who had teamed up with H&M back in 2017, decided to sever ties with the company. He posted on Instagram “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” tweeted The Weeknd, who has collaborated with the Swedish clothing giant on two collections so far. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
Despite the seemingly lackluster apology and ad pull, H&M still reportedly kept the ad on their UK website.