#BoycottHM trends as celebrities react to H&M’s ‘racist’ advertising campaign
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has joined the criticism of H&M’s controversial new advertising campaign in a unique and brilliant way.
The ‘racist’ retailer sparked a racism row this week. H&M advertised an image that showed a black boy wearing a green hoodie with an ‘deeply offensive’ slogan. The wording on the hoodie read ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ across it.
The high street fashion chain was accused of a “disgusting and shameful” decision. Since then, the advertisement has been pulled from their website. However, Lukaku decided to post his own version of the image onto his Instagram page that has immediately drawn praise from his followers.
Changing the slogan on the hoodie to “Black is Beautiful”, Lukaku added the message: “You’re [a] prince soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different…#blackexcellence.”
A number of his followers shared the image and praised the Belgium international for posting the “powerful message”. Others tagged the official H&M Twitter account so that they would see his post.
The hoodie remains on sale for boys aged one-to-10 years old for £7.99. However, the image is no longer being used and has instead been replaced by one of the clothing item alone.
Activist @DivinelyTy tweeted to H&M: “There is painful history of dehumanizing black people by comparing us to monkeys and apes. Your ad features a black child in a sweatshirt that says “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
An H&M spokesman reportedly said, “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.”
However some are not offended by the image. “If we want equality, then any child can wear any jumper they like. The people who made this [racism] connection are the ones who need to think again,” a shop owner from Manchester said.
More celebrities boycott H&M
Several celebrities, including The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, T.I and Isaac Hayes, have reacted to the image and all disapprove of it. Isaac Hayes wrote that H&M knew what they were doing when posting the image. “As much scrutiny goes into what is said & seen when making ads NOTHING goes w/o [without] several approvals,” he said.
Canadian singer The Weeknd publicly condemned H&M and cut ties with them. “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…” The singer began working with H&M in 2017.
Rapper King Push joined in the #BoycottHM, and said that he wouldn’t ever shop at H&M, “not even for T-shirts”.
Writing on his Instagram account, T.I wrote: “We account for Trillions in buying power & U WILL RESPECT THAT or we will SHUT YOUR BUSINESS DOWN!!! #boycottHandM”.