H&M under fire after controversial sweater


Dylan Gwinn

The black child model wearing the “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie.

Tyrelle Smith, News Editor

The Swedish multinational clothing retail company H&M is being slammed for racism after featuring a black child model wearing a hoodie with a “coolest monkey in the jungle” decal.

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 retail item went viral.

Debates have been held on social media on whether the hoodie is ‘racist’ or if people are just making a big deal out of nothing. English teacher Nicole Moravy commented “I don’t know how the shirt went through so many people and got approved without anyone thinking (maybe this is a bad idea)”.

Sophomore Trinity Klock said, “That is racist as hell! They should get sued.”

Freshman Ashur Sye stated, “People are way too sensitive. It’s not like the boy didn’t choose to wear the sweater. It’s like the level of what is racist is getting smaller and smaller every year to the point where anything we say or do is racist.”

Celebrities like NBA star LeBron James and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs and other artists have responded with outrage to the advertising image

James posted a refreshed image showing the model wearing a crown. Combs posted an image with the sweatshirt altered to read, “Coolest king in the world”.

Pop Singer The Weeknd, who has a clothing line at the retailer took to Twitter to express how “shocked and embarrassed” he was by the photo, and that he would end his ties with the company.

H&M apologized last Monday 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 apologise to anyone this may have offended,” the company told the Daily News in a statement from its Stockholm headquarters.