Clothing company H&M apologized profusely this week after getting hit with a backlash of criticism from celebrities and others for their “racist hoodie” ad. The controversy surrounded the use of young black boy as a model for a hoodie emblazoned with the words: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”
After critics claimed the ad had a racist tone, according to Life & Style Magazine, H&M released a statement saying, “We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”
They added, “It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
Rapper G-Eazy (Gerald Gillum) and singer Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) were among those who cut ties with H&M in outrage. Countless other people on social media also rebuked the company, dubbing the incident “Monkeygate.”
Gillum explained his reasoning by saying, "Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many... and be deemed acceptable."
But the young hoodie model’s mother doesn’t agree. In fact, she’s firing back at H&M’s critics, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
Terry Mango, who says she’s the mom of 5-year-old model Liam, wrote on Facebook, “Am the mum [mom] and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled. Stop crying Wolf all the time. Unnecessary issue here. Get over it.”
Mango, who is from Kenya but now lives in Sweden, added, “That’s my son. [I’ve] been to all photoshoots and this was not an exception. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”
"I really don't understand not coz am choosing not to but because it's not my way of thinking,” she continued.
According to Gulf News, Mango says she’s been abused online by people upset she allowed her son to wear that hoodie, and some of the people are bashing her by using racist terms.
She pointed out the hypocrisy, saying, “How can you fight racism if you make racist remarks? You cannot try to defend my son and use the same words to describe me.”
She’s done her best to shield her son from the social media outrage but says, “It’s horrible. You wake up one morning and everything has changed.”
Mango’s uncle believes H&M was not being racist either, but he thinks they should have had better sense. He’s been communicating with the company, mostly through lawyers.
What do you think of this? In other news, Tim Allen is talking about rumblings over a “Last Man Standing” reboot.