The Weeknd Cuts Ties With H&M Over Offensive Ad

  /  01.08.2018

The Weeknd is severing ties with H&M following a racially-insensitive ad, which features a young black model in a green hoodie that reads “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

The “Starboy” hitmaker took to Twitter to announce that he was ending his relationship with the Swedish clothing retailer, for which he teamed up with on a 2017 campaign. “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he tweeted. “i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore.”

The Roots’ Questlove was among the first to point out that the ad was insulting. “I’m sure the apologies are a coming,” he wrote. “And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”

In the wake of controversy, H&M did pull the ad. They also issued a statement about its offensive nature. “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top,” they wrote. “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”

The damage, however, had already resulted in a series of artists boycotting H&M. Pusha T posted an altered version of the ad, which calls the young man the “king of the world” and changes H&M to read “SHAME.” “Accurate,” he wrote. “**Never shopped with you ever…not even for Tshirts @hm **.”

Azealia Banks shared the same image, adding: “I’m never shopping at h&m ever again. Exactly why I don’t do anything dolce and gabanna, I won’t ever wear it if it’s on set. Ppl are always trying to fuck around on black peoples time and it’s just a bit corny at this point . I don’t have to protest .. just stop buying h&m . And that’s that on that . Hmmph. Sidebar : good thing they aren’t part of a group so we can just boycott them and keep our way of life LOL.”

Snoop Dogg posted another version of the photo, which features a spinning crown on the child’s head. His hoodie reads: “Royalty.”

Nelly also weighed in, posting a side-by-side photo of the black model next to a white model. “Soooooooooo one survival expert and one is a monkey …with out reading the shirt which is which..?? WTF…???!!!!!” he wrote. “DAMM H&M YOU DO KNOW ITS 2018 right…”


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