H&M trips up with their advert for ‘Monkey’ hoodie
The company released statements on both their official website and their Instagram. The statement on the website began, “To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, 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.” It continues, “We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled. […] Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda. Please accept our humble apologies.”
Their apology post on Instagram received over 59,000 comments, and almost 300,000 likes.
Among the backlash received by the company, celebrities also joined in on the censure. The Weeknd announced on Twitter that he would no longer be working with the brand, as did rapper, G-Eazy.
Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM... Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable. I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen. I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.