H&M Rampaged and Destroyed by Protesters Over ‘Racist’ Monkey Ad—ALL Stores Close Across South Africa


From an infuriated LeBron James editing his own version of the “Coolest Monkey” hoodie to The Weeknd dropping his partnership with H&M, outrage against the Sweden-based retailer has taken many forms.

By contrast, the mother of the boy in the ad has told critics to just “get over it.”

But now, the uproar following the controversial ad deemed ‘racist’ and ‘offensive’ has made it all the way to South Africa, after its debut on the clothing store’s U.K. e-commerce site.

H&M has temporarily closed all of its store locations in South Africa after angry mobs stormed various branches across the country, tearing down displays and vandalizing merchandise.

“Protesters flocked to stores over the weekend and police were forced to use rubber bullets to clear the crowds outside a branch of the fast fashion chain in Boksburg on Saturday,” reported the Independent.

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The protests were allegedly orchestrated by a radical militant group known as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which was founded by Julius Malema, a former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) President expelled in 2013.

Johannesburg, the nation’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, was hit particularly hard by protesters, who were filmed knocking over clothing racks, pulling down mannequins, and destroying displays.

Ambassadors against crime like #MakeSASafe have responded to the violent outbursts via social media, writing “Make your voice heard and say NO to violence and NO to racism. Lawlessness seen here cannot be allowed.”

The organization charges the people of South Africa to instead protest peacefully “within the framework of the law.”

In the meantime, H&M South Africa is taking all precautionary measures possible to ensure the safety of their customers and staff.

“What matters most to us is the safety of our employees and customers,” the company wrote in a public statement. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will open the stores as soon as the situation is safe again.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.