The Weeknd Drops H&M Campaign Over Offensive Ad

Posted on Posted in Daze Summit, DAZE SUMMIT BLOGS, Featured, Music

The Weeknd promptly cut his ties with H&M after the discovery of a racist advertisement on their retail site.

The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, had been modeling for ad campaigns and collaborating with the Swedish clothing company for his XO brand since 2017.

The photo in question includes a young black boy wearing a hoodie that says, “the coolest monkey in the jungle.” The other children’s hoodies posted on the website – worn by young white boys – have designs that say “Mangrove Jungle Survival Expert” or have an animal print. While some claim that H&M’s offensive advertisement was merely a tactless mistake, many social media users believe this could only have been intentional.

Several musicians and stars have also called out H&M for their insensitivity, such as style blogger Stephanie Yeboah, rapper Chris Classic, musician Questlove, and Manchester United soccer player Romelu Lukaku.

Chris Classic and Romelu Lukaku have posted the photo on their Instagram but  edited to exhibit much different slogans.

Questlove employs Instagram as well, posting the original photo with the caption, “I’m sure the apologies are a coming. 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?”

Rapper Pusha-T gave his two cents, too, tweeting that he would never shop at H&M again, “not even for Tshirts.”

In fact, many are threatening to boycott the brand like Pusha.

H&M’s official apology statement, issued to Pitchfork and posted on their Twitter, reads:

“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.”

However, this isn’t the first time H&M has slipped up, releasing offensive content; the company ran into trouble with PETA after putting the slogan, “Dogfight in a Random Alley,” on their garments a mere two months ago, in November of 2017. Twitter user @Felicia_Latter points out that H&M has displayed obvious signs of racism in the past.

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