Popular clothing store H&M offered a brief response after being accused of selling a racist hoodie on its website. Fans took to Twitter to express their disgust with the store after it posted a photo of an African-American boy wearing a green hoodie which reads, "Cutest monkey in the jungle."
The store has since apologized. Still, that did not stop it from getting hate on social media.
A representative for H&M released an official statement in hopes of the retailer bouncing back from the backlash. "We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top," they said. "We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues."
It did not take long for fans to jump on H&M after the photo went viral early Monday. Several took to Twitter to call out the store for not realizing how the photo could contribute to racial tensions that the nation has already experienced.
One fan asked the store a simple question and did not hold back when it came to calling out the store with a direct tone.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
Another expressed disappointment that a store such as H&M could be "this negligent" and "lack awareness," considering that it is already the new year.
In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better. pic.twitter.com/Av4bS4t6yn — alex medina (@mrmedina) January 8, 2018
One fan cleared it up and said that the hoodie was not the problem but rather putting it on an African-American child with a statement concerning a monkey.
That H&M hoodie in and of itself is not racist nor offensive. However putting it on and marketing it with a black child with historical and current context is just not a good look.
— Zee (@AsToldByZee_) January 8, 2018
One went as far as calling out fans who did not see an issue with H&M's now controversial and viral move.
I’m seeing some few uneducated black kids talking poo online saying the use of the word #Monkey in the H&M add is nothing to be upset about or raise alarm on... it just shows some people just go to school for show but don’t have LAKAIYE and it’s shameful — MOELOGO (@moelogo) January 8, 2018
Another took it a step further and, instead of coming for H&M, questioned the whereabouts of the child's parents and those spearheading his modeling career.
Everyone is killing H&M UK for the ad of the inappropriate hoodie as they should BUT where were his parents, manager &/or agent?! Like cmon pic.twitter.com/XmMxgAr8tc
— Lenny S (@kodaklens) January 8, 2018
One encouraged the store that it would take a nice sale for her to look the other way.
Run a 75% off sale @hm and all will be forgiven — Kia-Ann (@Saint_Kia) January 8, 2018
Not The Only One
H&M is not the first retailer to be hit with racial accusations recently. Fans might remember Abercrombie & Fitch putting out a shirt with Wong Brothers' laundry service which read, "two Wongs can make it white." Another shirt read, "Get Your Buddha on the Floor."
Urban Outfitters also came under fire after it put a Kent State sweatshirt with blood stains on its racks. The campus fell victim to an ugly shooting massacre back in 1970.
Zara was also targeted after it came out with a striped blue-and-white pajama top for children. It featured a yellow star on the left chest. The item was compared with outfits that concertation camp victims wore during the Holocaust era.
Cosmetic line Dove also faced backlash for its racially insensitive ads.
Be sure to keep up with Enstars for the latest.