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Fashion Retailer H&M Slammed For Racist "Coolest Money In The Jungle" Ad On Website

Apparel retailer H&M is being hammered online and on social media this week for an advertisement for a pullover children’s shirt with a “racist” message.

The fashion trendsetter is selling a green hooded top on its UK and US websites with the phrase “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” across the front, and many people are appalled.

The ad is no longer up on the website after all the controversy, showed a young black boy modelling the lime green hooded top.

The Twittersphere was abuzz today with those questioning whether H&M were being “casually racist” or simply insensitive, with many users noting that “monkey” has long been used as a racial slur.

Even those who were defending H&M in not trying to be racist admitted there should have been greater consideration about how the image could be perceived. The nonprofit group Models Of Diversity, however, commented that H&M should be ashamed.

Jumping into the controversy, Labour MP Kate Osamor tweeted: "I was totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least to find this online imagine. @hm do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?"

Several other users also weighed in on the debate.

One remarked: “Wow. I mean, put it on a child of literally ANY other race."

They continued, "How did NO ONE consider this is inappropriate? Not the photographer, stylist, creative director, editor... I truly wonder if anyone raised a concern that was ignored or they are all just stupid.”

A number of posters commented that there was no overt racism, but that perhaps good judgement and management oversight were missing in the advertising campaign.

Other posters thought to argue semantics, to wit: “Do you know that they're not calling him a monkey? It's just a jumper with the name 'monkey' on it, you're making it racist.”

The online listing for the garment, for children aged 1.5 years to 10 years, is still available for purchase, but no longer features the image.

H&M eventually released a statement on the matter: “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.”

Other recent H&M customer service issues include a shopper expressing her frustration last fall about the location of children's Halloween costumes in the store.

It seems that five-year-old Poppy Lambert-Harden and her mom were shopping when she noted her favorite outfits were in the boys' section of her local store for the second year in a row.

The upset young lady says was forced to buy a skeleton costume from the boys' department of the store because the girls' costumes simply “weren't very scary or cool”.

H&M has also dealt with criticism for the way it sizes its clothes.

In one viral faux pas a few months back, a size 14 blogger highlighted a picture of herself trying squeeze into a size 16 dress being sold by the retailer.

Related to this, a woman named Samantha Bell late this summer put up a pic showing how a pair of size 16 jeans from H&M seemed to be significantly smaller than a pair of the same size from Primark.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: USA Today, YouTube

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