H&M has removed a controversial advertisement involving a black child after social media users began attacking the spot as racist.
The image showed a young boy modeling a hoodie bearing the phrase “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE” before it was removed from the clothing giant’s British and U.S. websites.
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” a spokesman for the Swedish company told The Daily Mail on Monday.
The Mail on Monday reported that the boy’s picture has been taken down following uproar over its presentation.
Some Twitter users accused H&M of being at best insensitive, while others charged that the company was outright racist.
“@hm, have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!,” New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow tweeted Sunday.
Karamo Brown, the host of Netflix’s upcoming reality television series “Queer Eye,” on Sunday noted that “monkey” had long been used as a racial slur.
“@hm this is disgusting and irresponsible,” he wrote. “You know history of racist[s] using the term ‘monkey’ to demean people of African descent…and you put this on your website!”
The television host then posted four scowling face emojis and the hashtag “SMH,” or “shaking my head.”
Style blogger Stephanie Yeboah on Sunday questioned H&M’s decision to have a child wear such clothing.
“Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle?’” she wrote. “I mean. What.”
The garment in question is made for children ranging from 18 months to 10 years of age, and it sells for about $10.82.
The product is still available online but not longer features the black child model wearing the clothing.