Protestors Trash H&M Store In South Africa Over ‘Racist’ Hoodie Ad
Clothing brand H&M is dealing with the first major PR nightmare of 2018, with people outraged over a particular hoodie. Some have branded the Swedish retailer 'racist' after a green jumper had the phrase, 'Coolest Monkey In The Jungle' written across the front and a black child wearing it.
While the mother of the boy has told people to 'get over it', it hasn't stopped people across the world calling H&M all the names under the sun.
But people in South Africa have taken their outrage a step further and have absolutely trashed at least four H&M stores.
Credit: African News Network 7
According to the Daily Mail, bystanders and shoppers ran from the outlet as the protestors gathered, with some wearing red t-shirts. In videos posted on social media, some are seen pulling down racks and tearing clothes from their shelves and throwing them on the ground.
One person wrote on Twitter: "Racism must fall and we will never tip toe around racists."
The affected stores are reportedly closed until further notice.
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In an attempt to cool the backlash, H&M obviously took down the hoodie advertisement that started this whole mess, but that hasn't stopped singer The Weeknd from cutting ties with the label.
Rapper P Diddy even offered the kid at the centre of the scandal a $1 million (£730,000) modelling contract for his brand, Sean John.
H&M hasn't had the best experience in Africa in the two years since its first store opened on the continent. The brand was accused of having a lack of diversity, with virtually all the models used for their advertisements being white.
@hmsouthafrica I was at your CT store.Most, if not all your posters in store have no black models.Please work on that to appeal to everyone.
- Tlalane (@TlalaneLetlhaku) November 2, 2015
When a person on social media pulled H&M up on the issue, they responded with: "H&M's marketing has a major impact and it is essential for us to convey a positive image. We want our marketing to show our fashion in an inspiring way, to convey a positive feeling.
"Our marketing policy, campaign productions and work is something we constantly discuss internally and with creative professionals. We work with a wide range of models and personalities throughout all our marketing both online, outdoor and in store."
People were confused about the 'positive image' remark, asking H&M if they thought black people conveyed another message.
The company told Huffington Post: "By a positive image we mean that we use a mix of models with different ethnic backgrounds in our campaigns.
"We apologise if we have upset anyone as this wasn't our intention."
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Floyd Shivambu