The drama continues for H&M as more celebrities call out the brand for featuring an image of a black child in a green hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” splashed across his chest. Basketball star LeBron James and veteran music producer Sean Combs (known as Diddy) are the latest duo to call out the brand after it carried on selling the product on its UK stores.
Meanwhile to safeguard his own brand, American rapper G-Eazy has also ended his partnership with H&M. Addressing the move on Twitter, G-Eazy expressed his disappointment at the situation, adding that he could not “allow for [his] name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen”.
In regards to H&M pic.twitter.com/EuvWMmZ6XA
— G-Eazy (@G_Eazy) January 9, 2018
G-Eazy is not the first music artist working with H&M pledging to cut business ties in light of the incident. Singer The Weeknd, who has worked on a fashion collection with H&M before, also criticised the retailer for the racially insensitive product image and said he would not work with H&M in the future.
H&M has also released an official “unequivocal apology” on its website, addressed to all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, including “friends and critics”.
“We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children’s sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism. Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry,” the statement said. The statement added that the company agrees with all the criticism generated and has taken down the image. It has also removed the garment in question from sale with plans to send it for recycling. The statement said:
This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused.
“We have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists,” the statement said. View the full statement here.
The apology comes after the Swedish retailer copped flak for the loaded term, as the monkey is often being used in racial and ethnic slurs, especially against the black community. This sparked backlash on social media demanding for the brand to explain itself. Others added that the brand is clueless about racial and cultural issues in various markets. Some also called for consumers to boycott the brand.
(Photo courtesy: G-Eazy Facebook)
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