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H&M apologizes for racist hoodie advert

Clothing retailer H&M yanks pullover from line and issues apology.
Photo credit:
Flickr

The new year started with a huge apology from Swedish company H&M. The clothing chain suffered a PR nightmare after they used a young black child to model a hoodie for their online UK stores which reads “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

The company has since removed the pullover from its stores, but not before social media reacted to the problem.

LeBron James used Instagram to show his protest, saying in part, "We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that's what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!"

H&M issued the following public apology:

“We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print,” H&M said. “Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”

The image has been deemed racist and high-profile celebrities are also weighing in.

R&B star and spokesperson The Weeknd has severed ties with the chain upon seeing the image. Some stars have modified the picture adding a crown and changing the text to read “King of the World,” and in Sean “Diddy” Combs case: “Coolest kid in the World.”

Many, including the company itself, are wondering how the image could have made it all the way through the editing and approval process.

 "It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly,'' H&M said in its statement. "This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again."