Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

H&M Has Hired a Diversity Leader in the Wake of Hoodie Backlash

H&M Has Hired a Diversity Leader in the Wake of Hoodie Backlash

In an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the retailer said Global Manager for Employee Relations Annie Wu, a company veteran, would be the new global leader for diversity and inclusiveness.

The Stockholm-based retailer repeated that the entire incident was unintentional; that if anything it "demonstrates so clearly how big [their] responsibility is as a global brand".

As the internet went into meltdown about the racist connotations of the slogan, other protesters took to the streets - with an H&M store in South Africa being ransacked and its windows smashed.

The photo of the black model, which appeared on H&M's United Kingdom site, sparked responses from celebrities including Diddy and LeBron James.

After H&M took down the hoodies, it seemed like the end of the unfortunate marketing controversy; however, someone decided to make money off of the situation by selling it for $1,900 on eBay. In that statement, H&M officials said they removed the "coolest moneky in the jungle" image and the garment from stores. "We have reached out, around the world, inside and outside H&M to get feedback". The ads prompted singer The Weeknd and rapper G-Eazy to end their partnerships with the store.

National Basketball Association player LeBron James, meanwhile, posted a photo on Instagram sharing his take on the ad showing the boy in a crown under the words "king of the world". I know racism exists, but does the shirt to me speak racism? "But in her defense, by the way she says "she's his mum" tells me they are from another country, maybe she doesn't completely understand our racial stereotypes in America.??" the Instagram user wrote. The mother, named Terry Mango, even came forward to tell people to stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

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