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Week In Review: H&M Stirs Up Racial Controversy Over Derogatory Term in Ad


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Jan 13, 2018

Earlier this week, an ad surfaces on H&M online store featuring a black boy wearing a green hoodie with the words: "Coolest Monkey In the Jungle," pictured below.

Following the display of the ad, many took to their social media to express disbelief over the ad which many felt was racist. And racist indeed it was.

The word "monkey" has been used throughout history to defile melanin people as a whole. Its a racist term that has been used in the US and other countries as a racial slur to disgrace and degrade Black people. It's a derogatory term and H&M should of known better.

Analyzing this, you have to wonder what was the intent. Dove did the same thing, what message are they trying to convey? And ads like H&M proves the lack of sensitivity training with it comes to racism and diversity.

If H&M wanted to present a jungle fashion theme or wildlife fashion theme for their ad displayed in this picture below, H&M could of used a better word.

For example: "The Coolest Lion in the Jungle," "The Coolest Panther in the Jungle," "The Coolest Mascot in the Jungle," and etc.

Somebody did not have enough common sense at H&M to realize that putting a black child with the words "The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" would not stir up racial controversy and upset people? Again, unless H&M lack training with it comes racial sensitivity and diversity.

Back then, certain words were used to degrade Black people in a sense of bringing them down mentally, physically, psychologically, emotionally; and even on a spiritual level. The word monkey back then as a racist term was used to tarnish and hurt the intelligence of Black people.

It was a word also used to desecrate the masculinity of Black men. That's the energy racist people have generated with using those terms. And this is why H&M should of known better. At least brush up on their history and do better than their forefathers.

We have to continue to hold those that incite racism responsible and their accountability in an effort to eradicate racism.

The real question is when will they start healing the wounds of racism? Instead of adding gasoline to the fire. Hence, the recent racial controversy involving H&M.

More importantly, we have to continue to heal the wounds of racism, heal the pain and cries of our ancestors, bring what's hidden in the dark about it to light and; pave a brighter future for our children.


Update:Since the backlash H&M received, H&M has issued an apology and even issued a statement of apology on their website. But is a statement of apology enough to heal the wound that was inflicted?

Things that make you go hmmm.