H&M is the latest retailer whose market research team completely “missed the mark,” similar to Dove, Pepsi and Kellogg’s, when it comes to racial sensitivity.
Twitter started slamming the retail giant over the weekend once H&M’s painfully tone-deaf advertising of a young Black child wearing a "coolest monkey in the jungle" hooded sweatshirt surfaced online while other sweatshirts from the same line were advertised on white models. It begged the question, "Why does the little Black boy need THAT shirt versus the others?" Was it intentional racism? Some people think so.
Also shocking, some people were actually defending the brand and accusing the frustrated, outspoken Twitter users of “looking to be offended” or reaching for issues. Wow.
However, despite these people, celebs are expressing their anger as well with the brand. One in particular, The Weeknd, who has partnered with the brand in the past creating two small collections. He released the below statement on twitter:
Although, no one knows for sure if this was intentional or not since H&M has not offered a real explanation for their use of the image. But the backlash forced the Stockholm-based clothing giant to issue this lukewarm apology, according to Fox News: “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States,” wrote H&M in a statement. “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.”
H&M has since removed the offending image from its website, although the hoody is still for sale on their UK site. H&M, do better.
(Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)