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H&M apologizes for using black child for ‘coolest monkey’ sweatshirt ad

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H&M apologizes for using black child for ‘coolest monkey’ sweatshirt ad

Clothing company H&M apologized on Monday for having a black child model a new sweatshirt that had the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle."


Clothing company H&M apologized on Monday for having a black child model a new sweatshirt that had the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

H&M issued an apology for creating and sharing the image, according to 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."

The company removed the ad — which first appeared on the British version of the company’s website — after receiving complaints from customers and social media users, CNN reported.

H&M removed the sweatshirt from the U.S. website, but it is still available on the U.K.'s version of the website for £7.99.

“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended," H&M spokeswoman Anna Eriksson told CNN.

Canadian music artist The Weeknd cut ties with H&M over the issue, saying that he was “deeply offended” by the ad, according to CBC.

The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, said the ad “shocked him.” Tesfaye partnered with the Swedish retailer on a special collection of menswear late last year and this year, CBC reported.

Bruce Turkel, executive creative director of Turkel Brands, said the ad was insensitive. But, he said, people will move on from the issue, according to USA Today.

"People will forget. Trouble will happen if they don’t fix their approval process and something like this happens again, because each time it does, this issue will be brought up again."

H&M previously ignited controversy in 2015 when its division in South Africa did not include any black models. The company apologized for a tweet that said they only included white models because they convey a “positive image,” according to The Huffington Post.

Two years earlier, H&M pulled an outfit that resembled a feathered headdress after receiving complaints that the clothing item made fun of First Nation tribal customs.
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