International retail giant H&M apologised and removed the offensive ad from its website after tons of social media users accused it of being racist.
The clothing retail faced the heat over an image in its online store that showed a black child model wearing a hooded sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
As the image went viral, the company removed the image on Monday and said it would also pull the shirt from its stores worldwide.
Several social media users took to Twitter and criticised the brand for its reference to a monkey that has been used as a racial slur.
In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better. pic.twitter.com/Av4bS4t6yn
— alex medina (@mrmedina) January 8, 2018
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) January 8, 2018
Fixed this H&M ad I saw earlier today pic.twitter.com/ItX0zzfhlw
— Mimicgawd (@Mimicgawd) January 8, 2018
"We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top," H&M said in a statement. "The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. 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."
27-year-old Canadian singer The Weeknd told his Twitter followers on Tuesday that he was "deeply offended" by the image. He even severed ties with the brand.
"woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore..." he tweeted.
Last year in October, Dove came under severe criticism after it posted a 3-second GIF to its Facebook page. It showed a looping image of a black woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman with many calling the ad racist.
Dove later removed the post from its Facebook page and took to social media saying, "An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused."