After a controversial photo of a black child modelling a sweatshirt with the words “Coolest monkey in the jungle” from H&M’s online catalogue went viral on Monday, The Weeknd announced he will no longer be working with the retailer.
He tweeted, “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
The singer began collaborating with H&M last year in partnership with his XO brand, and modelled in their ad campaigns.
LeBron James also blasted the ad, sharing an edited version of it on his Instagram, with the words replaced by a crown, while Diddy tweeted out a similar shot, with the word “monkey” replaced by “king.”
On his Instagram, Questlove wrote, “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?”
In a statement, H&M confirmed they would be pulling the ad and the product from stores around the world, adding, “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image. … 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.”