When you're a brand as popular as H&M, there's a very high chance that you can't escape public criticism.
However, this means that the company has to be extra vigilant about everything they do to ensure that they aren't involved in any controversies that could harm their brand. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
H&M's latest online advertisement for their children's line has created some serious backlash and people are calling for the boycott of the Sweden-based international clothing company.
The fashion chain was selling children's hoodies on their U.S. and U.K. online stores inscribed with the phrases "Coolest Monkey In the Jungle" and "Mangrove Jungle Official Survival Expert Junior Tour Guide."
While people did not take issue with the writings on the hoodies, they were furious about how they were advertised, and have deemed the campaign racist.
When the hoodies were initially was posted to H&M's U.K. website, people noticed that the green-colored "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle" hoodie was modeled by a black child and many took offense to it.
Although "monkey" is often used by parents as a term of endearment, it has often been deemed offensive by many black people because historically, it's been used to demean them.
Of course, it didn't take long for people to take to Twitter to voice their angry over the insensitive and "distasteful" ad.
" @hm this is disgusting & irresponsible," wrote an angry user. "You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent... and you put this on your website! 'Coolest Monkey In the Jungle' #SMH"
@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible. You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent... and you put this on your website! 😡😡😡😡 “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” #SMH pic.twitter.com/IY877D2d8R— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) January 8, 2018
@hm this is inappropriate, offensive, and racist," wrote one user. "Why is the white kid 'a jungle survivor' and the black kid the 'coolest monkey in the jungle'? How do you think this is okay? REMOVE this and the clothing piece. This is completely distasteful!"
.@hm this is inappropriate, offensive, and racist. Why is the white kid "a jungle survivor" and the black kid the "coolest monkey in the jungle"? How do you think this is okay? REMOVE this and the clothing piece. This is completely distasteful! #racist #hm https://t.co/uati7eI0Io pic.twitter.com/WSF9Wiksio— Selene Arianela (@ArianelaSelene) January 8, 2018
Another chimed in asking the company to "take this down or atleast change the model," adding, "I would deeply appreciate that."
One Tweeter acknowledged the fact that it is highly likely that this was an oversight on the company's part, but that is still not an excuse.
"No doubt the H&M monkey hoodie photoshoot was organised with completely innocent intentions but in today’s outrage society you have to triple check everything you do," they wrote.
No doubt the H&M monkey hoodie photoshoot was organised with completely innocent intentions but in today’s outrage society you have to triple check everything you do. They better pray they don’t get Tommy Hilfiger’d— Austin (@AustinDarbo) January 8, 2018
In the wake of the scandal, a spokesperson told The Daily Mail that the image of the black child modeling the hoodie has since been taken down.
"This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended," they said.
Although an official statement about the controversy has not been released, H&M did attempt some damage control by apologizing on Twitter with a message that paints the company as far from racist.
"Throughout the years we have worked with many models from various ethnic backgrounds in our campaigns," read the statement. "Examples of models include: Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Kendall Jenner, Vladimir McCrary, Imaan Hammam, Liu Wen, Salma Hayek, to list a few. Currently Joan Smalls and Doutzen Kroes feature in our Summer 2015 campaign. Aya Jones will feature in an upcoming campaign."
Do you think the ad is racist too? Let us know in the comments!