The Weeknd Drops H&M After Seeing Racist Hoodie (Photo) - Opposing Views

The Weeknd Drops H&M After Seeing Racist Hoodie (Photo)

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The Weeknd Drops H&M After Seeing Racist Hoodie (Photo) Promo Image

Singer The Weeknd is ending his relationship with clothing retailer H&M over a photo he called embarrassing and offensive. 

The photo in question shows a black child modeling a hoodie for sale on H&M's U.K. website. The green hoodie features the words, "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle." 

Social media users and celebrities quickly called out the Swedish retail giant on the photo's racist connotation, sparking a wave of backlash against the company. 

On Jan. 8, The Weeknd tweeted he had seen the photo and would be ending his collaboration with H&M. 

"Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo," he wrote. "I'm deeply offended and will not be working with [H&M] anymore..."

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The Canadian singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, began working with the company in 2017, appearing in advertisements and designing pieces to be sold under his XO brand, according to Pitchfork. 

In a statement, H&M apologized for offending people and said the image had been removed from its website. 

"We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top," the statement read, according to USA Today. "The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues."

In a separate statement issued to Pitchfork, the company clarified that the hoodie will no longer be sold anywhere. 

"We understand that many people are upset about the image," the second statement read. "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 is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again."

As reactions swept social media, celebrities used their platforms to spread the photo and call for change within H&M.

"I'm sure the apologies are a coming," wrote Questlove, the drummer for the band The Roots, on Instagram. "And the ads will be pulled. I'm certain there will be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about [H&M] is that the seats in the boardroom lack something...wanna take a guess?

Sources: Pitchfork, USA Today, The Weeknd/Twitter, Questlove/Instagram / Featured Image: The Come Up Show/Flickr / Embedded Images: The Weeknd/Twitter, WiNG/Wikimedia Commons

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