Swedish retailer H&M is feeling the heat after running a controversial ad, featuring a young Black boy modeling a hoodie with the phrase, “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
Social media users slammed the retailer after the ad went viral, ultimately prompting the retailer to pull it down.
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” said H&M () spokeswoman Anna Eriksson. The ad first appeared on the British version of the online store.
It is an understatement to say that the ad was in poor taste and inflamed the age-old stereotype of comparing Black people to monkeys.
Several notable celebrities like Charles Blow and Questlove of The Roots, commented on the retailer’s poor judgement.
View this post on Instagram
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?
Other social media users like @Mimicgawd saw it as an opportunity to restore the young child’s agency and photoshopped over the phrase.