The Weeknd has ended his menswear collaboration with H&M following the company’s questionable decision to use a black child to model a sweatshirt that read “coolest monkey in the jungle” on their UK website.
On Monday, the Toronto-based R&B star said that he would no longer be working with the clothing giant due to the insensitivity and racial undertones construed by the ad.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…” The Weeknd said in his tweet.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
The picture has been criticized on social media for being racist and tone-deaf because it was modelled by a black child.
That H&M hoodie in and of itself is not racist nor offensive. However putting it on and marketing it with a black child with historical and current context is just not a good look.
— Zee (@AsToldByZee_) January 8, 2018
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) January 8, 2018
It’s beyond racist, discriminatory, tone deaf, ignorant and reprehensible that MULTIPLE PEOPLE at #H&M decided that it was a great idea to call a Black Kid a Monkey, who by the way is wearing a HOODIE! Still wonder why we keep fighting for justice?
— Michael Blake (@MrMikeBlake) January 8, 2018
H&M: Let’s put a black kid in a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie!
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) January 8, 2018
People are totally not getting the point about H&M racist ad. It’s not about how kids get called monkeys. It’s the meaning of the word monkey to black people, it’s been used to insult blacks for years. And choosing to put the hoodie on him is insensitive and racist. @hm
— Memunah (@MizMEMz) January 8, 2018
Hip-hop stars Questlove and T.I. also chimed into the conversation.
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?
H&M has since apologized for the advertisment.
The Weeknd announced his now terminated spring collaberation with H&M back in 2016.