Skip to Content

H&M takes flak for ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie on black kid

H&M was forced to apologise for an image of a black child wearing a green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle".

Published: January 9, 2018, 8:51 am

    The online images of a black child in a “monkey” hoodie provoked anger on social media. The international fashion chain has apologised after its website featured a black child model wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie.

    Criticism online ranged from outcries of “inappropriate”, “disgusting” and “negligent”.

    The clothing item for children available at the store’s United Kingdom page as a “printed hooded top”, was noticed on Sunday by inter alia blogger Stephanie Yeboah, whose outraged screen capture of the offering went viral.

    H&M has since removed the green monkey sweater from its website, while two white children featuring designs in the same category, remain.

    One wears a shirt with the words: “Mangrove jungle” or “Official survival expert”, while the other features designs of giraffes and tigers.

    British Labour MP Kate Osamor tweeted: “I was totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least to find this online imagine. @hm do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?”

    The Weeknd, a Canadian popstar who has produced menswear collections with the chain, said he was cutting ties with the company.

    Another Twitter user complained: “So the black kid gets to wear the H&M sweater with ‘Coolest monkey in the jungle’ and the white kid with ‘Survival expert’. This is beyond disgusting. It’s a projection of your neocolonial thinking.”

    New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow asked: “Have you lost your damned minds?!?!?!”

    Lebron James an American professional basketball player, similarly called out the image.

    “U got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!” he wrote on Instagram.

    “We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!”

    A spokeswoman for the retailer said: “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.”

    But it was actually an African American director, Spike Lee, who popularised the notion of blacks-from-the-jungle in his film “Jungle Fever”, a story about interracial dating, in 1991.

    In Calais, France, a now-demolished infamous migrant camp had been named the “Jungle” because it housed non-Europeans, but no-one complained about racism at the time.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • All this manufactured outrage made me peruse the H&M website, and find something to buy there. 🙂

    Europe

    Salvini: ‘Goodbye Merkel’

    RomeDeputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is looking forward to next year's European elections. He expects the political landscape within the European Union to change dramatically.

    Media blackout on biggest race riot in British school history

    SheffieldIn what has been called the biggest race riot in British school history, 150 students engaged in an armed fight last month. Mainstream media have remained silent about the obvious failure of "diversity".

    Merkel’s latest scheme blurs legal distinction between asylum and labour

    BerlinChancellor Merkel's grand coalition has announced an "agreement" or a compromise on "skilled labor immigration" which is essentially a new immigration scheme and various other backdoors for the obtainment under false pretenses of permanent residence in Germany and access to its social systems, without abolishing the old abuse.

    Orban: ‘Brussels going full steam ahead with migration schemes’

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned in his regular Friday interview to public radio that Brussels was “going full steam ahead” with its open-border migration schemes.

    UN will soon try to enforce open borders as a ‘human right’

    BerlinUN member states are expected to sign the so-called “Global Compact for Migration” in December in Morocco, claiming that migration is a “human right”.

    British agents were given a ‘license to kill’ by former PM

    LondonBritish secret service agents working for MI5 have a "licence to kill" without fear of prosecution, a tribunal has heard.

    ‘Jews for AfD’ meet with hostile response from most Jews

    WiesbadenLast week saw the formation of a “Jews for AfD” group in an effort to assuage fears that Jews were working together with Islamists to undermine pro-European movements.

    Marine Le Pen distances herself from Bannon during Rome visit

    RomeThe leader of the French National Rally, Marine Le Pen, on Monday distanced herself from the campaign support offered by US President Donald Trump's former advisor.

    Italian mayor arrested for criminally issuing ID cards to illegals

    RiaceThe mayor of Riace, a town of some 2 300 people in Calabria, a province in southern Italy, was recently arrested for aiding illegal immigration into his city.

    Obstacles do not derail free speech summit with Thilo Sarrazin

    BerlinEditor-in-Chief Roger Köppel of a Swiss weekly magazine invited author and Islam critic Thilo Sarrazin to the "summit of free speech". There were however a few bumps in the road to the summit.

    Go to archive