H&M Has Hired a Diversity Leader in the Wake of Hoodie Backlash
Earlier this month, Swedish fashion megabrand H&M was in hot water after publishing an ad that featured a Black child model wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
Both fans of the brand and celebs who endorse the company were outraged, and some, including singer The Weeknd, cancelled any collaborations going forward. Now, H&M has announced that the company has hired what they are calling a “diversity leader” to help ensure that such a mistake won’t happen again.
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The recent incident was entirely unintentional, but it demonstrates so clearly how big our responsibility is as a global brand. We have reached out, around the world, inside and outside H&M to get feedback. Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, therefore we have appointed a global leader, in this area, to drive our work forward. There will be more from us soon.
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In a recent post shared to the company’s US Facebook page and Global Instagram account, the fast fashion house said that while the recent incident was unintentional, it demonstrated the responsibility the brand has to consumers in the global market.
“We have reached out, around the world, inside and outside H&M to get feedback,” the statement reads. “Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, therefore we have appointed a global leader, in this area, to drive our work forward.”
Global Manager for Employee Relations Annie Wu, a company veteran, will be the new global leader for diversity and inclusiveness going forward, according to the New York Times. While the company is moving to be more inclusive, the backlash continues for the brand and for young model Liam Mango and his family.
With South African outlets temporarily shuttering after continued protests against the company, Mango’s parents have told reporters that they had to leave their home in Sweden for what they called “security concerns.”
What do you think of H&M’s most recent move towards diversity? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)