Clothing giant H&M has been slammed for racism after featuring a photo of a black boy wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie.
The hoodie, available at the store’s United Kingdom page as a “printed hooded top,” was noticed Sunday by social media users such as blogger Stephanie Yeboah, whose outraged screen capture of the offering went viral.
H&M, based in Sweden, apologized Monday morning for what many said was an insensitive association between the young model and a hateful slur against black people.
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended,” the company told the Daily News in a terse statement from its Stockholm headquarters.
Models for Diversity, a British-based organization advocating for more inclusion in the fashion industry, was one of many groups questioning how the photo made it through marketing teams and out into the world.
The high street fashion chain has apologized and removed the picture from it’s online store after it was criticised on social media.
“@hm And then H&M UK got the bright idea to feature a black boy model with ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ hoodie on its website. How on earth can this be? SHAME ON YOU !” it tweeted.
“Have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!” New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow asked.
The picture of the boy was replaced Monday with a generic photo of the green apparel.
Two other hoodies offered alongside the sweatshirt featured white models, including one labeled a jungle “survival expert.”