H&M is under fire for a modeling shot featured on its U.K. retail site. Over the weekend, a screenshot of a young black model wearing the fast-fashion brand’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed hooded top went viral. Many criticized the image as tone-deaf and racist, wondering how in the hell such an image could have possibly made its way onto the official H&M site.
“Dear H&M, here’s why your ad has caused outrage,” Twitter user @DivinelyTy wrote Sunday. “There is painful history of dehumanizing black people by comparing us to monkeys and apes. Your ad features a black child in a sweatshirt that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ 1+1=2. You should have known better.” Many others echoed this disgust:
According to CNN, the image of the hoodie being modeled has now been removed. In a statement released Monday morning, H&M spokesperson Anna Eriksson apologized on the company’s behalf. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” Eriksson said.