H&M’s recent ad cost them their partnership with The Weeknd. The Canadian singer, who teamed up with the Swedish clothing company last year, wrote in a Twitter post that he was “offended” by the racist ad and he would no longer work with them.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…,” so the “Starboy” hitmaker said in the tweet he sent out Tuesday, January 9 along with a picture of a young black boy modeling an H&M hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed on it.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
The photo, a part of H&M’s online catalog, came with two other pictures of white boy donning two other hoodies – one with an animal-themed print and one featuring the words “Survival Expert”.
Upon the pictures’ launch, H&M also received criticism from other famous figures, including NBA star LeBron James who posted on his Instagram account a photoshopped version of the ad, and wrote in the caption that instead of the “Coolest Monkey” he saw “a Young King… a ruler of the world” in the photo.
“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!!” he continued complaining.
@hm 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! 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!! #LiveLaughLove❤️ #LoveMyPeople????????????????????????⚖️????????⚖️
H&M was aware of the controversy, and later issued an apology. “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top,” they wrote and assured that the image had now been taken down from “all online channels” and that the product would never hit the H&M stores in the United States. “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all out internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues,” they added.