The Weeknd is ending his partnership with H&M following backlash over a racist posting on its U.K. website showing a black child model posing in a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.”
On Monday, the “Starboy” singer denounced the listing and announced that he would no longer be collaborating with the company.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he wrote. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore...”
The Weeknd worked with H&M twice in 2017 when he starred in and curated their Spring Icons campaign and created an 18-piece fall collection.
H&M’s post, which made the rounds on social media on Sunday night, has drawn widespread outrage. Folks pointed to the harmful, centuries-old comparison to monkeys that white people used as a way to oppress and degrade black people. Others noted that the white children modeled sweatshirts with other messages, but only the black child wore the “monkey” sweatshirt.
H&M pulled the listing and issued an apology on Monday.
“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,”
company representatives told The Wrap. “Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”
They continued, “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.”
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