H&M Apologizes for Racially Insensitive Advertising

See what the company said in a statement on Tuesday

By Jess Cohen Jan 10, 2018 7:53 PMTags
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H&M has issued an apology.

The company sparked major backlash this week after depicting a black child model in a sweatshirt that read "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle." In response, The Weeknd and G-Eazy have both cut ties with H&M.

In a post entitled "H&M Issues Unequivocal Apology for Poorly Judged Product and Image," the company states, "To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics. We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children's sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism. Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry."

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The statement reads, "H&M is fully committed to playing its part in addressing society's issues and problems, whether it's diversity, working conditions or environmental protection – and many others. Our standards are high and we feel that we have made real progress over the years in playing our part in promoting diversity and inclusion. But we clearly haven't come far enough."

The message continues, "We agree with all the criticism that this has generated – we have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists. We appreciate the support of those who have seen that our product and promotion were not intended to cause offence but, as a global brand, we have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities – and we have not lived up to this responsibility this time."

"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. We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled. We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future. Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda."

The statement ends by saying, "Please accept our humble apologies."