Words by Roman White
Clothing brand H&M has been dealt another blow after a racially insensitive ad went viral on Monday.
R&B/Pop star The Weeknd posted on Twitter that he will be pulling out of any future work with the clothing giant “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…” The “Starboy” performer posted on his Twitter account along with a photo of the offensive image.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
H&M apologized after the ad of the young African-American boy wearing a hooded sweatshirt that read, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,” went viral.
“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 27-year-old Universal Music Group artist began working with H&M in spring of 2017 as a replacement for soccer star David Beckham. The clothing company sought out a younger demographic for their clothing and thought The Weeknd would be able to reach them according to Fashionnetwork.com
Many influential African-Americans like R&B singer, Erykah Badu, Comedian Amanda Seales, CNN Commentator Angela Rye, and Harlem Rapper Dave East have condemned the advertisement.
Gotdammit. WHY IS EVERYONE SO DAMN SHITTY?! I wish I had more eloquence this morning but I just don’t. THROW THIS AWAY. Find the parents who allowed it and inquire on why? Burn the desks of the several levels of execs this had to go thru to make it to the masses. They didn’t… pic.twitter.com/2YxpNiOxoi
— Amanda Seales ?? (@amandaseales) January 8, 2018
— Cousin Angela (@angela_rye) January 8, 2018
Legendary Atlanta Rapper T.I. took things a step further. In an Instagram post, T.I. salute’s The Weeknd for cutting ties with international clothing giant and finishes the caption with the hashtag “boycotthandm.”
And Diddy took it one step further.
It’s only a matter of time before we get a response from Grey’s Anatomy actor, Jesse Williams, who was featured on an H&M holiday commercial with Nicki Minaj last year. The actor/activist has never shied away from issues related to race ever since his viral speech at the BET Awards in 2016.