Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
“I didn’t make a racist connection”. That is what Loose Women’s panelist Saira Khan said in defense of H&M advert which stirred controversy and outage from shoppers criticizing it for being racist. The advert featured a black boy wearing a green hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”.
The Swedish retail chain was criticized over the ad. But even after such backlash, Khan still maintains she never made the racist connection. If anything, she would purchase it for her mixed-race son because he is a “cheeky little monkey”. Apparently, all she saw was a kid in a little t-shirt.
“I think you have to have a racist mind to make that link”, she continued. “I don’t look at my life through racism. But now that it has been pointed out it does make me feel uncomfortable.”
She defended H&M saying they made an honest mistake. Being racist wasn’t the intention.
Much as she says she never made a connection, most people did. Rapper Weeknd tweeted saying he was not going to work with the retailer anymore posting: “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…”
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
H&M have removed the ad and were apologetic a released statement:
“We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print.
We have removed the image from all our channels and the sweater is no longer for sale in our stores. We will also look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future. We will continue the discussion with The Weeknd and his team separately.”
H&M insisted how they are for diversity. Sincere? What say you?