The Internet Is Slamming H&M for This 'Racist' Kids' Hoodie


CharlesMBlow/Twitter

People have been quick to call out companies for items that they feel are offensive and/or inappropriate in recent months. Popular retailer H&M is the latest company to come under fire for selling offensive items after many people visiting the site noticed some racist marketing being used to sell kids' hoodies.

  • New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow was one of the first to point out the problematic hoodie on Twitter.

    "Have you lost your damned minds?" he asked in a tweet that included a photo of the hoodie on H&M's website. 

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  • In the photo, a young black boy is wearing a green hoodie that reads: "coolest monkey in the jungle."

    Some pointed out that it was incredibly common for racists to refer to or depict black people as "monkeys" or "apes," ultimately making it irresponsible, culturally insensitive, and downright racist to attempt to place a black child in a clothing item that refers to him as a monkey.

  • Additionally, there were other kids' hoodies in the collection that many took issue with as well.

    Another hoodie was marketed with a young white model, this time reading "mangrove jungle survival expert." 

  • One person who claims to have worked for H&M said the marketing was likely more a case of "cluelessness" than racism.

    "The head office in Sweden is very disconnected to issues of racism, cultural & social challenges," she explained. "They seriously probably think this is cute."

  • Others, however, pointed out that the reason for this hoodie's offensiveness is pretty universally known.

    "You could be from Mars and know this isn't a good idea," one person said.

  • Some simply expressed their disgust at the brand.

  • It was also pointed out that marketing teams have a responsibility to look at things from all angles.

    For those who market to American buyers, at least, someone on the team should have been able to predict the negative cultural impact something like this could have. 

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    After learning of the backlash, H&M decide to take all the hoodies in the collection off its website. It also issued an official statement to Huffington Post UK, simply stating, "This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended." 

clothes racism