LeBron James criticized H&M for a photo in its online store featuring a black child model wearing a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
James, in an Instagram post, wrote that H&M “got us all wrong!”
@hm u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! 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 and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!! #LiveLaughLove❤️ #LoveMyPeople 🤴🏾👸🏾👨🏾⚖️👩🏾⚖️
The retail giant apologized on Monday as the scandal erupted on social media.
Per the NY Times:
The image was widely criticized online for its reference to a monkey, an animal that has long featured in racial and ethnic slurs. The Weeknd, a Canadian pop star of Ethiopian descent, was one of those who criticized the clothing giant, writing on Twitter that he would decline to work with the company in the future.
“We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” the company said in a statement. “Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”