Musicians The Weeknd and G-Eazy have severed their links with H&M. The brand unintentionally offended many when pictures of its black child model wearing a hoodie that read ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ came out. Several people were disappointed with this subtle promotion of racism while others said that it meant nothing as it didn’t seem to be an act of hatred and that not everything had to be politically correct
However, it was not just the commoners who found this move of the retail company offensive. Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye was also deeply upset by this which lead him to divorce his relations with H&M. The songster took to Twitter where he wrote, “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
He wasn’t the only artist who was disappointed enough to cancel any future collaboration plans with the brand. Him And I singer G-Eazy also expressed his opinion and decision in this regard on his Instagram. Alongside a picture of the said child, he wrote:
“Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM… Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end.
Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable.
I can’t allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen.
I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.”
The American rapper was set to launch his collection in collaboration with H&M in March. Now fans are of the view that Nicki Minaj should also part ways with the fashion retailer. One Twitter user thought out aloud, “I’m just wondering when @NickiMinaj is pulling her support as well from H&M.” Another person said, “The Weekend is done with H&M. Nicki Minaj who appeared in recent ads for the brand and completed collaborations, to either speak out or quit too. Let that sink in…..”
Amid such backlash, the songstress seems to be under immense pressure so much so that she has deleted sponsored posts of her collaboration with the company. She has not yet said anything in this regard but this response of hers perhaps means that she too doesn’t want to engage in any teamwork with H&M.
The brand has though apologized for what happened and how many people it hurt. It also clarified that what happened was accidental and did not have any racist intentions. The statement it released included the following line: “This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused.”