Published: Sunday 14 January, 2018

H&M Racist Ad Sparks Outrage Worldwide, South Africa Stores Attacked

Swedish brand H&M is in hot water over a racist ad. The H&M ad featured a black child wearing a green hoodie with the words ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ printed in front. In South Africa, activists ransacked H&M stores in protest.

H&M racist ad

‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’: The H&M racist ad that sparked outrage and protests worldwide.

H&M has since withdrawn the hoodie online and from its stores, and issued an apology. But that hasn’t stopped protests. On social media, outraged netizens voiced anger at the ‘blatant’ racism from the lifestyle brand. And in South Africa, protests turned violent when activists went to H&M stores an thrashed displays and merchandise.

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According to news reports, police have had to use rubber bullets to stop protesters in Johannesberg. Video footage showed members of the¬†Economic Freedom Fighters’ party (EFF) kicking mannequins and store shelves in anger while panicked shoppers ran to the exits.

H&M racist ad

H&M stores attacked in South Africa..

H&M South Africa immediately closed all its stores. In a statement, it said its priority is the safety of its staff and customers.

‘What matters most to us is the safety of our employees and customers. None of our staff or customers have been injured,’ said a spokeswoman for H&M South Africa.

‘We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable. We stress that our wonderful store staff had nothing to do with our poorly judged product and image.’

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Amid all these protests, many on social media can’t help but ask: How can such an ad with a racist theme be approved for print?