Last week, H&M dominated the headlines after their controversial ‘racist’ hoodie went viral. This was after an advertisement where a Swedish child model was made to wear a jacket that says, “Coolest monkey in the jungle” circulated on social media. Thousands of social media users denounced the clothing brand online, including Hollywood big names such as Lebron James, PDiddy, and The Weeknd.
Soon after, the retail company released an apology through a statement to The Washington Post.
“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”
It would seem, however, that the apology wasn’t enough to convince protesters in South Africa. In recent news, supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters party trashed H&M stores in Johannesburg over the racism row. In a report from ABC, the red-clad demonstrators created a scene outside the department stores, with some of them waving signs which said, “H&M say ‘hello’ to coolest monkeys” and “away with H&M racist tendencies”. The mob was dispersed when rubber bullets were fired by South African police.
But, the issue took a turn after some claimed that the party intended the disturbance in time for the ruling African National Congress party’s birthday celebrations. Phil Mphela, a commentator from Johannesburg, wrote:
“EFF chose today to pull these antics to take away some attention from #ANC106 celebrations. Don’t be naive and think this is only about H&M.”
Meanwhile, footage of the vandalism was put up on social media wherein it drew clashing opinions from the netizens.
Witness the videos here.
— Mukololo ® (@DineoDeeMash2) January 13, 2018
EFF Members urging to all H & M Customers to cut https://t.co/k3Nrz2sUrk
— Adolph (@Adolph_89) January 13, 2018
What do you think of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ supporters vandalizing H&M stores in South Africa? Do you think that it was right for them to protest the way they did, or do you denounce them for their actions? Let your voice be heard down in the comment section!