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H&M Apologizes for Using a Black Child to Sell “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” Sweatshirt

People are accusing H&M of racism after seeing this photo over the weekend. The image, which was displayed on the British version of the fast-fashion retailer’s website, featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the words, “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE.”

In other photos taken from the “printed hooded top” product page, two white children appeared to be modeling other sweatshirts, including one that read, “OFFICIAL SURVIVAL EXPERT.”

The image circulated on Twitter over the weekend, and some users called for a boycott of the clothing company.

Here are people’s reactions.

Yo @HM you need to explain yourself. What the hell is this? – alex medina

 

@hm, have you lost your damned minds?!?!?! – Charles M. Blow
@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible. You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent… and you put this on your website!  “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” #SMH – Karamo Brown

Dear @hm,
Here’s why your ad has caused outrage: There is painful history of dehumanizing black people by comparing us to monkeys and apes. Your ad features a black child in a sweatshirt that says “coolest monkey in the jungle”. 1+1=2 You should have known better #boycottHandM – Divinely Ty

“We sincerely apologize for this image,” H&M’s media-relations team said in a statement via e-mail. “It has been now 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 our internal routines.”

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However, at the time of publication, a photo of the sweatshirt without the child modeling it still appeared on H&M’s website in Great Britain and available for purchase. Cosmopolitan.com has followed up with H&M to find out why and will update this post when the retailer responds.

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