H&M Really Missed the Mark With This Racially Insensitive Ad
We’re only a little over a week into 2018, but controversy is already brewing. This time, H&M is in hot water for a racially insensitive children’s sweatshirt ad.
The garment in question is a hoodie with the phrase, “coolest monkey in the jungle,” slapped across the front. While the sweatshirt itself isn’t inherently vile, shoppers couldn’t help but notice that the brand chose to advertise the look on a Black child.
.@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
The sweatshirt, which is part of a jungle-themed kids clothes collection, includes another slogan hoodie with the phrase, “Survival Expert,” printed across the front, which some shoppers pointed out was modeled by a white kid. “Why is the white kid a ‘jungle survivor’ and the black kid the ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’?” one Twitter user wrote.
Disgusting shame on You @HM
— Tonya Pinkins (@tonyapinkins) January 8, 2018
Did they just have NO IDEA?!?!? Shame on @hm
— sheryl lee ralph (@thesherylralph) January 8, 2018
It’s no secret that the term “monkey” has deep seated ties to horrible racial slurs against Black people. Many people are speaking out against the clothing retailer for their ignorance. Since the backlash, H&M has removed the image from their website. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels,” an H&M spokesperson told the UK’s Huffpost, “and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.” While we’re glad the retailer issued an apology, we can’t help but think the store’s sales may take a dip from this incident.
What do you think of H&M’s apology? Let us know @BritandCo.