When a black child-model wearing a printed hoodie that reads "Coolest monkey in the jungle" was featured on the website of an worldwide fashion giant earlier this week, Twitter exploded with reactions-mostly of deep outrage-from all over the world.
H&M has since apologized for the advertisement and had acknowledged their error over the matter.
The backlash to the ad campaign was swift, with celebrities including Questlove and LeBron James calling out H&M for being racially insensitive. Stop crying wolf all the time, [it's] an unnecessary issue here.
I, as a privileged white student, don't get to decide what someone of another race finds offensive - especially since the race in question has been beaten down and treated as something less than human by my own race throughout history - I don't get to do that.
Screenshots of Facebook comments from Terry Mango, who says she is the boy's mother, reveal that she was present at the photoshoot for the now infamous £7.99 hoodie and that she appeared to tell people who thought it was racist to "stop crying wolf". Although, everyone wondered who approved the ad, they also wondered where was the young boy's mother and why was she okay with her son sporting the "inappropriate" hoodie. To add more insult to injury, they issued a half-baked apology which didn't sit so well with people.
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Twitter was buzzing early Monday morning after pictures surfaced of a small black child modeling a "coolest monkey in the jungle" hoodie on H&M's United Kingdom website. "Seriously, I was like 'coolest monkey is trending, what the heck, ' I understand why so many people are upset".
@hm u got us all wrong!
Several celebrities showed their discontent with the image on the social media platforms. "Straight up!" the Cleveland Cavaliers star wrote on Instagram Monday. James posted a refreshed image showing the model wearing a crown. "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 lovely!"
The H&M image - and the surrounding controversy - quickly went viral after it was shared on Twitter.