The Weeknd has cut ties with clothing retailer H&M after a controversial photo of an African American child modeling a hoodie reading “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” appeared on the Swedish company’s website. The singer tweeted on Monday, “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.” A source close to the singer confirmed to Rolling Stone that the artist is no longer working with H&M.
The singer began his association with H&M in 2017, modeling in ad campaigns and collaborating on pieces for his XO brand. The collection no longer appears on the H&M website.
Backlash over the photo spread on social media, with various media figures calling out the ad as racially insensitive. “I’m sure the apologies are a coming,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”
The company issued a statement to Pitchfork, writing, “We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally. It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
Rapper, G-Eazy is also another celebrity who decided to cut ties with the company. Read here.
You can still purchase The Weeknd’s PUMA collection and his merchandise.