The Canadian singer-songwriter took to Twitter today to announce that he’d kicked the retailer to the curb in response to a photo from its website, which featured a black child modeling a green hoodie emblazoned with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” the Grammy-winner told his 8 million Twitter followers. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
H&M has since apologized for the photo, saying in a statement, “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. 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.”
The company is still selling the hoodie on its website, but the image of the black child wearing it has been removed.
The Weeknd had been collaborating with H&M on his own XO clothing label and had previously performed at some of the brand’s fashion shows. He’s not the only musical icon to give H&M a serve over their culturally tone-deaf advertisement. The Roots drummer Questlove also called out the retail giant for a lack of ethnic diversity at the corporate level, saying, “All this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”
You don’t need to have a lick of fashion sense to know that racial insensitivity is never a good look, y’all.
I’m sure the apologies are a coming. And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?