What do you think of H&M's latest ad?

Take into consideration that some white people (in the past and now) refer to black people as monkeys/apes.

Pamela Taylor, who was director of the Clay County Development Corp called Michelle Obama an "ape in heels".H & M latest ad?H & M latest ad?
  • It's racist
    Vote A
  • It's not racist
    Vote B
  • You don't care one way or another
    Vote C
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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think the message isn't meant to be racist. A jungle, after all, is a perilous habitat that can only be withstood by the fittest and the resilient. I think the 'coolest monkey' message there stands for a notable kind of individuality.

    There isn't anything inherently shameful about monkeys. However, people who perceive that this is racism seem to think otherwise.

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    • Black people are referred to as monkeys and apes as a racial slur/verbal attack, which is why people found it offensive. That's why they think otherwise.

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    • @Allie_Oops I don't know and neither do you of any parent or grandparent or just any adult that hasn't called little kids a monkey, in fact there are outdoor kids gym sets with monkey bars. Seems that everything today is way over thought to come up with some negative about it.

    • @katie 👏👏👏 yes my point exactly. thank you!!

Most Helpful Guy

  • i think it's impossible to say without knowing the intentions of the person created the idea for the ad.

    they could truly have been oblivious to the intimations of such an ad. they could have overlooked the racist implications.

    if it's not racist then the creator clearly lacks the foresight or insight to see the potential conflict that would arise. it does seem hard to believe that a person wouldn't see and draw the connections between the race of the boy in the picture and message on the clothing

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What Girls Said 72

  • I sorta understand both sides in this debate. I don't think there was malicious intent behind the H&M image, but when taken into the context of POC being called apes/monkeys in the past (and present), I understand why so many people got upset and offended.
    "Coolest monkey in the jungle" is a very cute thing to print on a sweater for kids, because kids often think monkeys are cool and like to play like monkeys in the playground. That's what I used to do as a kid whenever I was climbing trees or jungle gyms with my friends. But when the context of racism is applied, I can see how it's a tactless thing to print on a sweater and to give to a little black kid to wear.
    But considering the context of this probably just being a brainfart on H&M's part, I think the uproar is maybe just a tad... silly? Like as much as I think historical context matters, what also matters to me A LOT is *intent*. I don't think it was H&M's intent to be racially insensitive - H&M is actually one of the few clothing companies whose models are incredibly diverse. Not just in terms of race but also height and build/size.
    I wish we could live in a time where even black kids could walk around in cute sweaters that said "coolest monkey in the jungle" without people automatically linking it to racism or making the assumption that the clothing company's intent was malicious. But I definitely understand how it's a sensitive thing to a lot of people.

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    • Although, I have to specify that I DO NOT agree with people who are essentially saying "if you think this is racist then it means you're racist". That just doesn't make any sense to me. Just because someone is capable of understanding and applying historical context to current events, it doesn't make them racist. What's racist is turning a blind eye to these types of things and not even trying to understand where the other part is coming from.

  • It's unintentionally racist. I could see where many black people would be offended by this as white people have referred to us in the past as apes or monkeys and such. Michelle Obama was often referred to as a gorilla or ape herself when her husband was in office so it's not like the racial reference is old news. It's still very common and used.

    But I don't think H&M did it to be racist. I think they really weren't thinking that it would be perceived as racist and they truly didn't see it.
    I think they put it on a cute kid for advertisement purposes and nothing more. I don't think all this backlash is necessary.

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    • So when i put a yellow shirt on an Asian kid its unintentionally racist too? There are racists. They have created these associations. You dont just carry on these associations, you even fight them where you think to see them and spread them even more that way. That kinda makes you a second hand racist.

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    • And actually yes. It was black people aswell. It was them attacking each other and them even selling each other. So theyre actually even more involved than an Asian in simply being yellow (while theyre actually not even yellow)

    • Also, you absolutely not stupid not monkey person, you missed out the whole point and the 'completely' transitionable concept. You didn't even comment it and honestly i think you haven't been able to decrypt it.

  • Its slick racist. I always dreamed of goin in H&M. Visited a store a few months ago and it was just as plain. So they lost my support way before this

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    • They aren't American they are swedish the racial stuff that goes on here doesn't go on there or in Europe. so I don't think they seen it as racist. on top of that his mom said people are overreacting.

    • @lilmissumshine either way, its “slick” racist

  • "It's not racist" 45% Oh, GAG doesn't surprise me anymore.

    Yes, this ad is racist. Like you said, black people were called "monkeys" by white people for centuries, so of course this is offensive.
    Just didn't care because they wanted to make money and they're also racist.

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    • *They just

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    • Omg point exactly.. my point exactly obviously they aren't racist smh

    • @lilmissumshine Okay. If they're not racist, then Europe must be nice.

  • The kids parents literally had no problem with it. Plus, CHILDREN are called moneys because they like to climb on stuff. If the white kid had been the one advertising the hoodie would it still have been considered racist. They didn't intend for it to be racist and it shouldn't be taken as such. It's just a freaking hoodie, who cares who is wearing it? People just want to get offended by everything they see because they're overly sensitive and look into everything more than they should.

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  • People are overreacting and triggered per usual. so since women call men dogs and a man models a "dog" shirt is that offensive? complainers just ruined a perfectly good modeling career for this child.

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    • Best answer ever. Go girl!

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    • I'm white and married to a wonderful black man and we both would love to have a hoodie like that for our 3yr old son. We from first look never looked at it as anything racist. It is truly a cruel world anymore and I blame social media and technologically for much of it.

    • @katie neither do i. his mom is upset at the fact that people are overreacting. she approved the photo for the ad. the sweater is cute it's a reflection of what kids his age do they play in the jungle gym at school the monkey bars. i didn't think anything of it

  • Its a cute shirt put on a cute kid with his parents permission. I can see how it might be taken wrong but honestly it was meant to sell shirts. Thats the kinda thing they put on kids clothes to sell more. No big deal.

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  • Not racist. Young children are often called monkeys due to their seemingly endless energy. If this was on a white boy the company would be called discriminatory for not using ethnic models.
    TDLR; Companies can't win, especially when Buzzfeed comes out to play

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  • If you look at it wrong, then it’s racist. In my opinion I don’t think this was intentional, the mother of the child in the photo even reached out and said she didn't think it was racist either. She said her son does photo shoots like this all the time, people just looked at it too deep with this one.

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    • I don’t stand racism, I thought this was pretty racist at first too. But when I read what the mother said I kind of saw it in a different picture, children also tend to be called monkeys because they’re so wild and hyper, but I don’t think this was done intentionally

  • I don't think it's racists and I'm black people these days are so ass sensitive and blow everything out of proportion.

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    • ..."We're only human after all"🌬

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    • Sorry in my last words I didn't answer so objective but white people we are also Apes!!! It's silly to offend with words that defines you to! So black brothers give them a discount. Withe people stop being silly...

    • My mom both a short for my 6 month old cousin and it wrote "Aunty's little monkey" we all thought that it was cute and was worn by a black baby. My point is it's just a clothes it's not like it's was stated "Black people are all monkeys"

  • The ad isn't racist. I'm sorry, but racism has to include some kind of intent; intent to demonstrate that one race is inferior to another or intent to hurt members of a certain race or drag them through the mud. H&M's only intent was to sell more shit, and people took it as a message that the kid modeling this particular sweater is black. Would we be taking it as a message if a white boy were wearing a sweater that said, "Sweetest cracker in the box", or something? Nah, we'd just laugh it off.

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  • He's a boy. That hoodie is made for boys. Boys are monkeys. I call my students monkeys if they bounce around all the time and cannot sit still. And they're Asians. If this is the ONLY clothing item in question, then that's just another proof of "American POC being so fucking butthurt they make a big deal out of nothing." (this coming from an Asian, so don't start with the whole white privilege thing). There is a line between fighting against racism and seeing things that aren;t actually there

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  • They unintentionally made a racist comment. And because they didn’t say it in a racist way, in this situation, it isn’t racist. It’s just a kid with a cute sweatshirt. People are overreacting and turning this into something it’s not.

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  • I just think it was a careless mistake. Sure they could have been a lot more cautious when picking out the outfits, but I don’t think anyone can reasonably say that H&M was intentionally sending a racist message when they published that ad. It’s popular for kids’ clothing and accessories to mention something about or depict images of lions, monkeys, tigers, bears, etc. Poor choice in who they put it on considering the probable backlash but still, not racist.

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  • Maybe the problem is that the people offended still associate black people with monkeys. I mean I seen the pic and thought it was just a cute kid in a sweater and had to read the comments to figure out the problem...

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  • Mamn how you people like to dramatize. smh
    H/M made the ad, people complained as it has a racist connotation, they apologized and put it down. END OF STORY

    Does it benefit you look for yapping about it all the time? So folks wether it be racist or not doesn't matter anymore because it was already taken care of.

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  • It’s racist. And for the people saying it’s not and it wouldn’t be racist if a white guy or Chinese guy would were it obviously because they have never been insulted by being called a monkey. Even here in the Netherlands my black friends get called a monkey as an insult.

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  • I can see how people are offended there, but to be honest, people are triggered easily by anything that miiiight seem suspiciously provocative. Am I the only person tho who finds this ad really funny? I don´t think it´s meant to be racist so it´s really funny :D

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  • I think its only racist if you think black people are monkeys. At the end of the day they didn't say its only for sale to black people so just because its advertised using a black boy doesn't mean that its meant for black people only. If it had been advertised using a boy of any other race then a boy who is black is seen walking with it in the street wearing it , is it still racist? I don't think it is racist. The celltone advert shows a white woman does it mean its only meant for white women? I don't think its meant to be racist but if it is I'm no monkey so I'm not taking offence from it.

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  • If done on purpose obviously that is racist, there is no proof that they did this on purpose so i couldn't consider it racist, my nephew who is a white little boy, wear tops with monkey on him all the time, he has about 2 or 3 with stuff like "cheeky little monkey" written on them.

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    • And the tops your nephew wears were not made on purpose? The hoodie was made on purpose because it was cute and racist wasn't even given a thought up until the time of course that some good ole fashioned American racists called it out. I sometimes think that we have black folks here who will do everything in their power to keep racist card going instead of giving a hand at stopping it.

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What Guys Said 117

  • The intention was most likely not racist and sometimes people perceives things differently than expected. I think people misunderstood H&M. Some children likes to climb in the trees and play monkeys; something the text is referring to. Maybe the boy was the only few volunteering to model. I doubt he would wear it and model if he found it offensive.

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  • Whether something is "racist" depends on the motivation with which it is said. . . right? I understand why many would consider the possibility but how can you infer an attitude solely on the basis of seeing the ad?

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  • If you're black and this is somehow a refrence to your race then it's my opinion that you are the racist because you yourself are recognizing that monkeys are somehow simular to African Americans :/
    How is this not more understood? The mother and the child had no problems with it because it didn't even come to their minds that it was racist because they aren't.

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  • I don't think the ad promotes racial inferiority/superiority. I do think the ad execs failed to think about the optics. The company shouldn't be sanctioned or charged with a crime. But people should vote with their dollar, and have the freedom to boycott as they wish. That will force people to be more mindful.

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  • The kid looks cute. If you look at it in a racist context, it could be interpreted as 'owning it', couldn't it?

    It's like: "I know you think I'm a monkey. Well I'm the coolest monkey in the jungle. Suck it!"

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  • It's definitely racist, but I don't think it was intentional. I noticed some people (most of which are white) use the term "monkey" to describe their kids. Monkeys are often mischievous and playful, so that makes sense. However, you have to take into account context.

    In any case, (fun fact) as human beings, we are not "monkeys"; We're apes.

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  • They mean monkey as in how kids can be referred to as monkeys affectionately.

    But it’s seriously stupid that no one raised that possible connection in meetings before it went out to the public.

    The picture would have been seen by multiple people before going online, so someone should have pointed it out.

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  • Couldn't are less. The idea that things are "accidentally racist" and should be apologized for is ridiculous. It obviously wasn't intended to be taken that way and who the hell would they apologize to, anyway? It's nothing but public shaming for something that wasn't even racist in the first place

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  • Honestly I think it's hilarious, for year when I was younger I was called a monkey and have called people who are younger than me who are rascals or childish and energetic at heart a monkey. This was not a racist message although in certain context, sure, it could look pretty bad for H&M because people read to deep into shit.

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  • I'm positively sure they didn't mean it to be racist, but come on. People call kids "monkeys" all the time as a term of endearment. I hardly doubt that H&M wanted to make a racist statement with that shirt and the mother of the boy didn't care at all either. I can see where a problem lies and that they just made an oversight but people are just being oversensitive about it

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  • I think its hilarious, but I am kinda surprised no one in marketing thought it was a bad idea. It should be common knowledge by now that there are tons of oversensitive people who look for for things to be offended by. There have been enough examples in recent years of people going apeshit over trivial things that someone in their marketing department should have forseen that people would complain about this.

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    • I suspect marketing knew exactly what they were doing and wanted to deliberately provoke, in the hope of more attention and hence some free publicity.

    • @DinaM
      Doesn't it hurt their businesses tho?
      They supposedly lost some of their celebrity endorsers and there are also people in the general public who are claiming that they will no longer shop there. I find it hard to elieve that publicity is always good regardless of context.

    • I'm not saying it's the best strategy, but it is one that they have been known to use before. And it's not necessarily totally ineffective for them either -- just look at this thread, with all the people flocking to defend the decision.

  • I don't give a fuck. It wasn't racist at all. Plenty of my white friends called their kids cheeky monkies and shit, and they're all white as fuck. Literally hundreds of thousands of white families will call their sons or daughters a monkey this year. It's a common name for a kid with a lot of energy. Africans just want to play the victim card and an excuse to break shit.

    Can't believe people are so easy to offend these days. What happened to honour?

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  • its not intentionally racist, but it is an advertiser fuck up.

    it would have taken barely any effort to choose a different shirt for the black kid, and use a white kid for that one to avoid the potential misinterpretation.

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    • But honestly wouldn't it be racist to give the kid another shirt that didn't say "monkey" just becausr he's black?

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    • Don't go too far with the point all those fights were and are for such things... Now and I do and dare although I'm not comparing I'm just saying they fought fought for such things like this won't happen yes a black boy in a hoodie with such quote to standing and sitting on the bus to drinking from different fountains or using different toilets and bars to educating the white little boy and put the black boy in the farm... Yes they fought for such things... I should be the one to say how dare you!

    • And yes a monkey is an insult, boy is not.

  • I think people are too sensitive these days. I mean, I'm white and when I was a kid there were tshirts that said "Silly Little Monkey" or something, I'm sure there were black kids kicking about in them. Because at the end of the day that's what kids are like, monkeys, they climb on everything and are loud and annoying. Regardless of race or gender or whatever. People these days are too quick to take offence to things...

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    • IKR some people these days

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    • @nick1415j I didn't actually mean to tag you in that man, just kinda happened lol. Sorry I wasn't ranting at you. Just ranting in general

    • Oh lol that's okay

  • Racist.

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  • If I'd seen this on tv then I would think "Oh nice shirt for a kid of that age!" Not "omg why is he wearing a shirt that says 'monkey' while he is black.

    People need to chill out and stop making every single thing sound racist.

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  • H&M is an English brand. "Monkey" has been a pet name for children for a long time, probably more British than American. The people who created the hoodie probably weren't aware of the racist history of "monkey" in the US.

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  • So let's get this straight. White people were not calling black people monkeys. White americans did that the rest of Europe in the beginning saw slaves no different than the poor. If anything they were a bit better. Because they knew how to listen well.

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  • H&M is a Swedish company. This post is acting as if it is American and has the same implications.

    It was a stupid ad for nobody to pick up and go "hey, this might be a little bit of an issue" yet when even the mother of the child comes out to defend it you know it wasn't supposed to be taken this way.

    It wasn't racist. It wasn't intended to be so either.

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  • I don't think it was intentionally racist but it was poorly judged. The idiots who think people are looking for any excuse to be offended and think the term "monkey" is completely innocent should read up on European football matches with a black player in the opposing side.

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