So if you haven’t already heard, recently H&M has been in hot water after the release of a “racist” print ad.
As you can see in the photo, the text on the hoodie reads “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle”.
The problem here is context. The hoodie by itself is not racist. If they had replaced the model with a white, Mexican, or Asian child, it’s likely no one would have had a problem with the ad.
Monkey is a pretty common phrase used to refer to children that have lots of energy. But it also has a nasty history of being used as a derogatory slur in African American history.
The ad blew up when “The Weeknd” tweeted his disgust for it, quickly racking up hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets. He previously had an endorsement deal with the clothing line, which he will now be cutting ties with.
Rapper G-Eazy also ended his partnership with H&M- and Pusha T, YG, and T.I have also spoken out against the ad.
But now according to British newspaper Metro, Diddy is offering the child featured in the ad a cool ” 1 million dollar” modeling contract to do ads for his own clothing company ” Sean John”.
In addition to this, Diddy posted his own version of the now famous hoodie on Instagram
Following all of the controversy, H&M immediately posted an apology via a series of tweets, saying
“‘We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. ‘We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering. ‘It’s obvious that our routines haven’t been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We’ll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again”.
In our opinion, the blunder seems like an honest mistake from H&M. It’s a big company, and it was one picture out of thousands in their catalog. No brand in their right mind would purposefully post something racist and insensitive.
It might be worth mentioning that part of the reason why this picture got past H&M’s quality control is the fact that it was part of their UK store.
The U.K obviously has a very different history from America in regards to slavery and civil rights. The word “monkey” does not have the same connotation in Europe as it does in America.
The same is true with other words.
For example, if you called your female boss a “cunt” in America, would be immediately fired and probably permanently blacklisted from whatever industry you work in.
It’s just such a harsh and visceral word. Many people cringe just hearing it.
But in the U.K- it essentially means “bastard” or “asshole”, but can also be used endearingly in between men depending on the context.
Insult: aye, that bloke is a real fucking cunt.
Compliment: Ricky, you are one funny cunt mate!
Either way, it’s not that bad.
Hopefully H&M has learned their lesson and will take greater precautions in their ad review process from this point forward.
And also, that little kid is lucky as hell. He’s going to make a million dollars purely off of someone else’s mistake.
We look forward to seeing him in Diddy clothing ads in the future!