Clothing giant H&M has been slammed for racism after featuring a photo of a black boy wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie.
The hoodie, available at the store’s United Kingdom page as a “printed hooded top,” was noticed Sunday by social media users such as blogger Stephanie Yeboah, whose outraged screen capture of the offering went viral.
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H&M, based in Sweden, apologized Monday morning for what many said was an insensitive association between the young model and a hateful slur against black people.
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” the company told the Daily News in a terse statement from its Stockholm headquarters.
Musician The Weeknd cut ties with the brand after the photo went viral online.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he tweeted. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
LeBron James similarly called out the image.
“U got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!” he wrote on Instagram.
“We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!”
Models for Diversity, a British-based organization advocating for more inclusion in the fashion industry, was one of many groups questioning how the photo made it through marketing teams and out into the world.
“@hm And then H&M UK got the bright idea to feature a black boy model with ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ hoodie on its website. How on earth can this be? SHAME ON YOU !” it tweeted.
“Have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!” New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow asked.
The picture of the boy was replaced Monday with a generic photo of the green apparel.
Two other hoodies offered alongside the sweatshirt featured white models, including one labeled a jungle “survival expert.”