JOHANNESBURG - Social media was abuzz on Monday, following a racial controversy about a recently-launched clothing line for children by retailer H&M.
The advert appeared on the retail company’s United Kingdom website.
The H&M boy's clothing catalogue shows a black boy modelling a sweater that refers to him as a monkey. On the adjacent page, a white boy is shown wearing one that calls him a 'survival expert', which caused furore on social media, with some users labelling it as 'racist', 'offensive' and 'distasteful'.
UK publication The Evening Standard said H&M had apologised for the ad and removed it from its website.
This is disgusting & degrading putting this little boy in a hoodie that says coolest monkey in the jungle! Knowing the history of people associating black people with monkeys! Who approved this? @hm @hm @hm pic.twitter.com/W4boZFx4Fs— gaby (@loveegaby_) January 7, 2018
"Coolest Monkey In The Jungle“ on a black child? Hebanna pic.twitter.com/QP0Z96C6Me— Man's Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) January 8, 2018
@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 pic.twitter.com/IY877D2d8R— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) January 8, 2018
Dear @hm,— Divinely Ty (@DivinelyTy) January 8, 2018
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
After causing a lot of controversy for putting black boy in a hoodie that says "coolest monkey in the jungle"... H&M deleted the picture on their UK website. pic.twitter.com/K1vO55RD7I— Courtney Curtis (@CourtneyGTV) January 8, 2018
Those H&M designers really all sat there and thought having a black kid model a hoodie that says "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" was a good idea. Smh. https://t.co/9fH6t32fhd— HENNY HAM (@hennyhamkravitz) January 8, 2018