The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) will no longer be working with clothing company H&M, after a hooded sweatshirt was released that said “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” which “deeply offended” him. He announced his departure from the clothing brand ambassadorship via Twitter saying “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore…” with a photo of a young African American boy wearing the aforementioned hooded sweatshirt which can be seen in the below photo.
The Weeknd began his association or ambassadorship with H&M in 2017, when he began modeling in ad campaigns and collaborating on pieces for his XO brand.
H&M quickly addressed the controversy in a public statement saying, “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image,” the company tells USA Today of the ad, Continuing to say, “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.”
The company then reiterated their public apology in another statement that was issued to Pitchfork, stating, “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 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.”
See The Weeknd’s tweet regarding this as well as the photo below:
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018