Swedish clothing line H&M recently stirred quite the controversy with a racially charged advertisement and has now released an apology.
Just this week, the fashion company has been hit with immense backlash after they posted an advertisement in the form of a photo depicting a young black boy wearing a green hoodie, with the words "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" printed on it. The public quickly gave notice of the ad, calling it racist and culturally disrespectful. Now, H&M has released an apology acknowledging the error of their ways in a statement.
"To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics. We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children's sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism. Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry," their statement read.
According to H&M, they have always been fully committed to addressing the issues that are rampant in society today which includes racism and the promotion of diversity. Furthermore, they explained that while they have raised a high standard when it comes to diversity and inclusivity, going so far as saying that they have also achieved progress regarding these issues, the company also acknowledged that their efforts were not enough.
H&M revealed that they are in agreement with the criticism that had been thrown at them and that they have not lived up to the responsibility of racial and cultural awareness as companies like them should. However, the fashion brand also explains that the incident had been accidental in nature but regardless of this, they agree that all forms of racism and divide should be eradicated and that they are not taking this issue lightly.
"Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance, we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda." H&M further stated, adding, "Please accept our humble apologies."
Following the controversial ad, The Weeknd and rapper G-Eazy have since cut their ties with the company.