H&M apologise after backlash over ‘racist’ children’s clothing advert

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Clothing brand H&M has apologised for any offence after featuring a black child model in a hoodie bearing the quote ‘Coolest monkey in the jungle’.

The retailer faced criticism online from people accusing it of being inappropriate, disgusting and negligent.

The image of the model wearing the green monkey hoodie has been removed from its website, while two others featuring different designs in the same category and modelled by white children remain.

One bears the words ‘Mangrove jungle’ or ‘Official survival expert’, while the other has outlines of various animals including giraffes and tigers.

Referring to the green top, Labour MP Kate Osamor tweeted: ‘I was totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least to find this online imagine. @hm do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?’

Alex Medina, who works in brand design, said it was negligent to place a black child in a top with such a slogan, while white children wore others.

He tweeted: ‘In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better.’

A person tweeting under the handle @vulkaanrots said they would boycott the store.

They said: ‘So the black kid gets to wear the H&M sweater with ‘Coolest monkey in the jungle’ and the white kid with “Survival expert”. This is beyond disgusting.

‘It’s a projection of your neocolonial thinking. You won’t see me anywhere near your shops these days @hm.’

A spokeswoman for the retailer said: ‘This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.’