H&M apologises for racist advertisement in light of strong criticism

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9 January 2018

Celebrities criticize H&M for racist ad; The Weeknd severs ties

Author: Sheryl Estrada, DiversityInc

"The Weeknd, 'deeply offended' by 'coolest monkey' ad, severs ties with H&M," 9 January 2018

The fallout from H&M’s racist advertisement on the global company’s U.K. website featuring a Black boy wearing a green hoodie with the phrase “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” continues with Grammy Award-winning artist The Weeknd tweeting to his more than 8 million followers that he will no longer work with the brand... The Swedish retailer...has an all-white board of directors.

...H&M... removed the image from its U.K. website on Monday and issued an apology after threats of boycotts began on social media... The company said it “regrets the actual print” and in addition to removing the photo of the hoodie from its websites the sweatshirt will be removed from the product line, and the “mistake” is being investigated.

...NBA superstar LeBron James [said via his Instagram account]..."H&M you got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it!... We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!”... Questlove, a member of the hip hop band “The Roots,” inferred to his 1 million Instagram followers on Monday that the advertisement stemmed from a lack of diversity in H&M’s boardroom.

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8 January 2018

H&M apologizes for 'monkey' image featuring black child

Author: Liam Stack, New York Times

The clothing retailer H&M apologized on Monday for an image appearing in its online store that showed a black child model wearing a hooded sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.”... The image was widely criticized online for its reference to a monkey, an animal that has long featured in racial and ethnic slurs. The Weeknd, a Canadian pop star of Ethiopian descent, was one of those who criticized the clothing giant, writing on Twitter that he would decline to work with the company in the future.

...In a statement, H&M said it agreed with those who were “upset about the image." “We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” the company said in a statement. “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.” [also refers to Dove, Nivea, PepsiCo, Unilever]

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