The Weeknd Leads Boycott Against H&M, Cuts Ties With Fashion Chain Over Racially Insensitive ‘Jungle’ Photo

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The Weeknd is done with H&M. The singer has cut ties with H&M after the famous fashion chain posted a controversial photo of a young black boy wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the phrase “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” The photo, deemed racist by an onslaught of outraged buyers, appeared on the Swedish company’s UK website and was accompanied by a photo of a white boy wearing a jungle-themed hoodie that said “Jungle Survival Expert.”

The Weeknd wasted no time in severing his relationship with H&M. After the racially insensitive photo went viral, the singer tweeted “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.”

According to Rolling Stone, The Weeknd began a partnership with H&M in 2017 as a model in the company’s ad campaigns and performer at the brand’s Paris Fashion Week show last year. The Weeknd also collaborated with H&M on two collections with pieces for his XO brand. H&M was the Weeknd’s first major fashion contract.

The Weeknd is not the only high-profile celebrity who is outraged over H&M’s tone-deaf photo. Questlove Gomez also took to social media to blast the company, writing the following on Instagram.

“I’m sure the apologies are a coming. 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 @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”


In addition, Snoop Dogg and basketball legend LeBron James both posted a refreshed image of the controversial photo to Instagram, with the hoodie text removed and the boy model wearing a crown.

“You got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it!” James wrote to his 37 million followers.

“Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!”

Rap mogul Diddy also reimagined the young boy as a king, posting new image artwork with the caption “Coolest king in the world.”

“Some respect on it!!” Diddy wrote. “When you look at us make sure you see royalty and super natural God sent glory!! Anything else is disrespectful.”


Amid the backlash, H&M issued an apology for the controversial photo and released a statement saying the offensive image has been removed.

“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended,” said H&M spokeswoman Anna Eriksson, according to CNN. H&M later removed the controversial hoodie from its product line.

“We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” the company said in a statement posted by Forbes. “Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”

H&M is the world’s second largest global clothing retailer, with 4,500 stores in 62 countries. Past celebrity H&M endorsers include Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Pamela Anderson, David Beckham, Madonna, Lana Del Rey and Vanessa Paradis.