Protesters trash H&M store in South Africa over 'coolest monkey' product image

H&M has apologised for the 'racist' product image

The backlash over a ‘racist’ product image featured on the H&M website has continued for the retailer as protesters stormed - and trashed - an outlet in South Africa this weekend.

Hitting headlines earlier this week, the image of a black child model in a hoodie featuring the quote “coolest monkey in the jungle” saw the likes of The Weeknd and G-Eazy cut ties with the brand.

According to local media reports, an opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), called for shopping centres to evict the Swedish retailer.

The majority of the protests were peaceful, but footage from the Sandton City store in Johannesburg shows protesters kicking and knocking down in-store displays and clothing racks.

Floyd Shivambu, EFF deputy president, tweeted in response to the protests congratulating those involved claiming they had “physically confronted racism”.

H&M has apologised for the image, admitting it “got this wrong” and was “deeply sorry”. The mother of the child model, Terry Mango, has spoken out in defence of the retailer telling those offended to “stop crying wolf all the time” and “get over it”.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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