An H&M ad deemed ‘racist’ made headlines Monday after the retailer featured a young black boy wearing a sweatshirt that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” on their U.K. e-commerce site.
Outrage from the general public and numerous celebrity figures led to the company pulling the ad and releasing what many considered to be a lackluster apology through a spokesperson: “We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print.”
The advertising blunder led to “Starboy” singer The Weeknd immediately dropping his partnership with the clothing store.
“I’m deeply offended,” he tweeted the morning the ad surfaced, “and will not be working with H&M anymore.”
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
And the disapproving sentiments were echoed by other celebs like LeBron James, who to took to Instagram with his own edited version of the ad.
@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!! #LiveLaughLove❤️ #LoveMyPeople⚖️⚖️
But one person who doesn’t seem to understand what the hype is all about is the boy’s mother.
Terry Mango of Stockholm, Sweeden, took to Facebook to write a series of since-deleted posts about her thoughts on the controversial H&M hoodie worn by her son.
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled,” she wrote. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here … get over it.”
I have this same mother of this boy on my page trending on Facebook I made screenshot of what she said to this post and everyone is shouting 😂😂😂😂her name is terry [email protected] @KraksTV @bellanaija @lindaikeji @theweeknd pic.twitter.com/dZWSBGwMGo
— 💦HUNCHO💦 (@oluwa_popoola) January 9, 2018
“If I bought that jumper and put it on him and posted it on my pages, would that make me racist?” she questioned. “I get pples opinion, but they are not mine.”
Terry’s bold stance has ignited a wave of backlash across the web, but the Swedish mother seems to be undaunted by the opinions of others, stating that everyone is entitled to their own.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this,” she wrote. “ … I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
What’s your take on this controversial ad? Did H&M cross the line with an overtly racist image, or in the words of Terry, is this just another case of America “crying wolf”?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.