It’s only the beginning of January and we already see another company that has offended the black community. H&M recently released a photo of some of their new hoodies for kids. One featured a young African-American boy wearing a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” Can we let that sink for a moment?
Of course, this caused an uproar in the black community as some bashed the brand while others argued that it was time to let old wounds heal. The hoodie is without a doubt insensitive to the controversial past of a people and any argument against that would be to deny the factual history of how America was built. *Guys lets revisit a textbook* Maybe it is time that we learn to let old wounds heal, but it’s hard with other people picking at the scab.
Besides the obvious offensiveness that points at an issue within society, because it’s actually an argument of whether the hoodie is offensive, it leads to this question. How did this pass through all channels without it being flagged? Are we to believe that NO ONE thought that this ad would cause an issue? The thought seems unfathomable, which leads me to also think that it was intended. Obviously, there is major misrepresentation of minorities within the business realm as well, because a black person would have called out this design on the spot. This isn’t the first time this has happened, there have been plenty of cases where people have offended an entire group of people with thoughtless advertising.
I mean, if we were to advertise the boy on the right with a hoodie that sad something like; “Best Cracker in the Box,” I definitely think there would be some people upset, white moms at the very least. Of all phrases to use, everyone from the photographer to the stylist to the editors thought putting a black boy in a hoodie where he is referenced as a monkey, was permissible. It would’ve been safer to switch hoodies between the two boys, rather than risk the backlash that the brand has received.
H&M released an apology after realizing that a lot of people were not cool with the apparel. The Weekend also cut ties with the brand, which is possibly another reason that the company even noticed that people were upset.
What do you guys think? Is H&M canceled? Do you think this was intentional?
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