The Weeknd took to Instagram this morning to tell the world he would not be endorsing H&M anymore following their advertisement for a green sweater that said, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” worn by a young black boy. Abel Tesfaye – AKA The Weeknd – wrote on the media platform that he was “deeply offended” and wouldn’t be supporting them.
A representative for H & M responded to the backlash by apologizing in usual Public Relations-fashion, condemning the choice of print and stating that their typical process for quality assurance hadn’t been followed.
However, an actual explanation for why it occurred did not come to fruition, leaving many to wonder why such an image would be published on their website.
In a statement to Pitchfork, the company stated they are pulling the item internationally. As you may know, The Weeknd started working with the clothing giants back in March of 2017 when he released his Spring Icons collection.
Additionally, he made another collection of clothing in September. The singer of The Roots, Questlove, also took to Instagram to condemn the company’s choice of words.
I’m sure the apologies are a coming. 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?
He implied there must’ve been a “lack of diversity” in the headquarters of the company. The singer mocked the idea of an apology as well as a “grand gesture” of donating to charity.
Questlove compared the corporate act of donating to a philanthropic cause as the same thing to people saying their friends are members of an ethnic minority group for the sake of excusing their racist or discriminatory actions or words.
However, not everyone agreed that the company should face such criticism. Some social media users acknowledged the mistake was probably made due to a computer algorithm rather than an intentional act of malice against black people.