The sweatshirt was worn by a black boy and had “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed on the front.

The Weeknd tweeted this morning that he would be cutting ties with clothing company H&M, whom he worked with this past fall for a collaboration with his own clothing line, XO.

The catalyst for Abel Tesfaye’s decision was over an article of clothing the company was selling on their website, depicting a child wearing a sweater that had “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed across the front in bold uppercase letters.

Historically, ‘monkey’ has been used as a racial slur against black people. The comparison labeling black people as monkeys/apes/anything sub-human was used as justification for enslavement, forced sterilization, Jim Crow, extrajudicial violence, and more.

This tweet then leads to a maelstrom of online outrage from others on social media.

H&M was swift to respond to the negative news coverage, spokeswoman Anna Eriksson stating, “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended. 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 article of clothing was then removed from the companies website as a way to appease the masses, but for most, this apology and gesture weren’t enough.

Social media users, including designer Alex Medina, pointed out that two other tops from the same line, one that said “survival expert” and one with images of animals, were modeled by white children.

What do you think?




Filed under: hm, the weeknd