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H&M Under Fire for Hoodie

H%26M%27s+controversial+advertisement
H&M's controversial advertisement

H&M's controversial advertisement

Courtesy of H&M/Twitter

Courtesy of H&M/Twitter

H&M's controversial advertisement

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Earlier in January, clothing line H&M stirred up controversy by an advertisement that was a picture of a black child wearing a green printed sweatshirt that said “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” This ad sparked anger from people all around the world, since the phrase “monkey” has been a racial term used against blacks for years.

This mistake has been addressed by H&M, as the company has put up a statement on its website regarding this incident. However, many people believe the ignorance of the designers cannot be forgiven so easily. Other opinions have been expressed due to this incident, like what the mother of the child model has to say about all the backlash H&M is receiving, celebrities refusing future work with the retailer, and angry customers trashing H&M stores, particularly in South Africa.

Today, racism is still a sensitive and ongoing topic that is heavily discussed, so it is reasonable as to why the backlash this world-wide retailer is facing is ongoing. H&M is a large retailer, and along with making clothes, comes mistakes from the creators. According the the New York Post, the mother of the child model claims that “the people making the picture a big deal need to get over it.” The mother herself gave her own opinion, which differed from many around the world. Considering the mother of the child defended the clothing brand, people should realize that this scenario is being blown out of proportion.

Canadian singer The Weeknd was also disappointed with the brand’s failure in recognizing its mistake, according to The Washington Post. This led to the singer to tweet about breaking his partnership with the clothing line, as it left him “shocked and embarrassed.” It is fair that the artist broke off the partnership deal, as it could potentially affect his image.

H&M has since apologized for the mistake by addressing it via social media and its website, but it still seems to be receiving undeserved hatred for the issue. In a location in South Africa, there is a video going around of a man recklessly destroying mannequins and tossing neatly folded clothing. Although the company still faced harsh criticism, it is agreeable that the actions that took place at the location in South Africa were unacceptable and not necessary. It was the designers and lead executives of the retail company who allowed a terrible clothing design to be released, rather than the workers in the store who then had to deal with such backlash.

Junior Katherine Stewart disagreed with the actions that the rampaging activist did, saying, “It’s unjust for the workers, since they’re the ones who are getting paid to support their families. Giving them extra work to do is stressful and very unnecessary.” She also added, “As a person who works myself, I would be very frustrated and upset with both the company and the people who don’t know how to control themselves.”

As one can see, there are many different opinions on this controversy surrounding this popular brand. However, this criticism and violence may be a bit overboard, especially since the representatives of H&M wholeheartedly agreed it was a mistake on their end and are doing everything they can do to make up for their actions. They are doing this by addressing this issue and posting a well-written apology. The company is also taking action by no longer selling the hoodie and recycling the remaining stock.

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H&M Under Fire for Hoodie