How Could H&M Think It's OK For a Black Boy To Model a "Monkey Hoodie"?

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Angela Channing, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Angela Channing
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    Being called a "monkey" is a racist insult that most black people in the UK have been called at some point in their life. Personally, I was first called that when I was about 5 at school and the last time was around a year ago in a bar, so that is pretty much all my life.

    This is why it is so offensive for H&M to have a young black boy to model a top with the slogan "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle". Although the item is probably OK for a child of another race to model, because of the racist connotations of the word "monkey" it is totally inappropriate for a black child to wear.

    How they could have thought it was ok is beyond me. They have now apologised for doing this and withdrawn the item. However, the damage to their reputation has already been done.

    H&M apologises for image of black child wearing 'coolest monkey in the jungle' hoodie

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  2. Snarky's Ghost
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  3. Sarah
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    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Very sad :( It's a shame that the boy CAN'T model this due to the racial implications. In this day and age, it's just beyond sad :(
     
  4. Angela Channing
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    It was really poor judgement by H&M because there were other items in the range that would have been absolutely fine for a black child to model and a child of a different ethnicity could have modelled "The Coolest Monkey" hoodie.
     
  5. Sarah
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    Do you not think though that it SHOULD be ok for him to wear that? Sorry if I'm not wording this the best, but I find it disgraceful that it's something that they even have to think about because of the colour of his skin. :(
     
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  6. Emelee
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    It amazes me that this ad could go all the way through publishing without anyone reacting hard enough to pull the breaks on it. How many people did it pass through before publishing? Like 100?
     
  7. Angela Channing
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    It would only be ok for him to wear it if the word "monkey" was never used as a racist insult against black people.

    This situation really isn't that much different from H&M having the boy wear a hoodie with the slogan "The Coolest N*gger" because of the racist connotations of the word "monkey".
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 9:06 PM
  8. Rove

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    I'll approach this from another angle. Let's say the hoodie never appeared in any print or television promotion but was just available in the H&M Store to purchase. Now picture the young bloke in the above print ad in store with mummy or daddy and he says, "Mummy/daddy I like this hoodie. Can I have it?" The child of course may not yet see the true meaning behind the text. It's now up to the mother/father to make the decision. If the mother/father agrees to purchase it and then allows the child to wear it in public, do I - as a white male - call her or him out for being racist?

    I'd say this was poor judgement all round. From the person who thought that text would be amusing on any garment, to H&M for even thinking of stocking it in store. All those involved in the photography studio (and that includes the parent/parents/guardian) when the shots were being taken. Not one adult - AT ANY STAGE - thought it would be inappropriate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 7:43 PM
  9. Angela Channing
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    As someone who opposes racism and challenges it when they see it, the sensible approach would be to politely point out to the parent that the word "monkey" has been used as a racist slur against black people in the UK for years so they may want to think about whether they are laying their child open to racist abuse when he wears that slogan.
     

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