“Uncoolest” Sweatshirt in the Jungle

Ava Harrington, Contributor

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Clothing store H&M has been slammed for racism after using a photo of a black boy wearing a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie in their recent ad. The hoodie, available in the United Kingdom, was noticed recently by social media users such as blogger Stephanie Yeboah, whose angry capture of the offering went viral. “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels. We apologize to anyone this may have offended,” the company told The Daily News. Riot police have fired rubber bullets at protesters as they vandalized many of H&M’s stores in South Africa. Violence has erupted in at least four malls from people who were offended by this racial sweatshirt in the United Kingdom. The company did not respond to direct questions about how or why the image was used in the first place, although the company’s statement provided on January 9 said the incident was “accidental.”

Many celebrities have scolded H&M for using a black boy to model such a  sweatshirt: “@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up!” wrote Lebron James on Instagram. “Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong” James added. Diddy posted a cartoon interpretation of the words “coolest king of the world” instead of the original message and a crown above the boy’s head. “Put some respect on it!!” Diddy tweeted. “When you look at us make sure you see royalty and supernatural God sent glory!!” H&M has been slammed by celebs all over the world. However, the company and the model’s family are assuring people that they weren’t racist. H&M has taken the sweatshirt out of the store and offline.

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