It’s hard to understand the inspiration behind H&M’s recent advert- a young black child wearing a green hoodie with the phrase “Coolest monkey in the jungle”
In the little while it was online, before it was taken down, it caused a ruckus on social media, seeing celebritities like The Weeknd and G-eazy putting an end to their partnership with the brand, as well as LeBron expressing how distasteful the ad is.
The Swedish based fashion brand has now issued an apology and pulled out the product from all of its stores, but the debates and outburst still continue.
While the ad was not intended to be racist, the deductible (racist) insinuations surrounding the word “monkey” when used in direct correspondence to a black kid, should unmistakably be known to the H&M PR division.
In common conversation, “monkey” is a popular way to refer to kids (white or black).
Edward Adoo writes;
My godson is white, and his parents often refer to him as a “little monkey”; white friends, equally, often use the epithet for their children. At no point have I ever felt the need to call them out on racism...
Many social media enthusiasts have now tried to preserve the dignity of the primary victim of this campaign which can be easily forgotten. Mr Chris popularised the elevating phrase “King of the world”.
The young chap would eventually come of age, and would see all the commotion the ad steered. What message would he pick up? I suspect he alongside his friends would give it all a good laugh.