Singer The Weeknd cuts ties with H&M over 'racist' advert
A black child model was pictured wearing a 'coolest monkey in the jungle' hoodie.
Singer The Weeknd has ended his association with H&M, saying he was "shocked and embarrassed" by the fashion retailer after it produced an advert featuring a black child model in a hoodie bearing the quote "coolest monkey in the jungle".
The Canadian, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, tweeted that he would "not be working with H&M anymore" as he was "deeply offended" by the image.
The 27-year-old's association with the Swedish clothing giant began in 2017, when he starred in its spring advertising campaign, and his own clothing brand, XO, also collaborated with the retailer to create a number of pieces sold in its shops.
The image of the boy in the hoodie was removed from H&M's website and from sale after it sparked a backlash online.
Some Twitter users branded the advert "racist", others asked if the company had "lost its mind", while another said the picture highlighted "systemic racism".
Others stated that they would boycott the fashion brand in the future.
However, others on social media argued that people were "trying to see negative racial connotations" and that the boy in the hoodie should be viewed first and foremost "as a child".
Others said that H&M had not intended to be "racist" in issuing the advert.
A spokesperson for H&M said the company "apologised to anyone" the advert "may have offended".
In a statement posted on social media, they added they were "deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we regret the actual print...
"It's obvious that our routines haven't been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We'll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again."
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku posted an altered version of the image on his Instagram account which has been "liked" more than 165,000 times.