The Weeknd Cuts Ties with H&M Over Offensive Shirt

The singer said he was "shocked and embarrassed" by a photo of a black child wearing a sweater that read, "coolest monkey in the jungle."
By Alejandra Moedano
  • If you haven’t heard by now, Swedish brand H&M is under fire after posting what many are calling a racist ad.

    The ad was brought to social media’s attention after New York Times columnist Charles Blow spotted the image on the brand’s site and tweeted this —

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  • The ad in question features a black child modeling a hoodie that reads, “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

    Now, for those who might not understand why this ad is offensive — here’s a quick history lesson as explained by Twitter user @Paul__Dawkins.

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  • In response to the backlash on social media H&M said — “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.”

    Unfortunately, H&M’s apology has failed to satisfy many. In fact, the controversy has caused the retailer to lose their collaboration with The Weeknd. The singer/songwriter, who has worked with H&M on two fashion lines since 2016, tweeted — “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”

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  • One question on everyone’s mind is — who approved this?

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  • Many believe this is the work of cultural ignorance — given that H&M is a Swedish brand with a different racial history than the United States. Either way, it is important that all brands learn from this incident and consider how all customers might potentially react to their products — especially those such a wide reach.

    What do you think of this incident? Let us know in the comments.

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    Follow Alejandra Moedano on Twitter at @alemmoedano.