The Weeknd announced via Twitter that he is ending his relationship with clothing brand H&M after the Swedish retailer used a black child model to advertise a hoodie with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle” written across the chest. The singer began working with the brand last year, with the singer designing a The Weekend XO men’s line in addition to modeling in the Spring 2017 campaigns. “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” The Weeknd tweeted. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.”
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Questlove and New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Charles Blow also voiced their disapproval at image, which was used to advertise a sale in the UK. Blow tweeted a succinct “have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!” at the fashion brand’s account.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
I’m sure the apologies are a coming. And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?
According to CNN, H & M removed the image from its website following accusations of racism. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” Brand rep Anna Eriksson told CNN. H & M later released a more detailed statement. From USA Today:
“We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top,” H&M said in a statement. “The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States.We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”