Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

H&M store trashed over 'monkey' advert

The H&M The"horribly insensitive hoodie has now been pulled down from the website
Melody Ballard | 14 January, 2018, 00:31

Recent anger over an advert by the retail giant H&M has spilled out into violence, with several store branches in South Africa being trashed by protesters.

They ended their protest around 2pm, leader of the protest, Hendswell Baloyi, saying that "as long as H&M opens their doors, we will be here".

Police have confirmed that rubber bullets were used to disperse protestors wearing EFF regalia at the East Rand Mall on Saturday.

The Menlyn store was shut after it was completely trashed by the angry protesters. Some held signs that said "H&M say "hello" to coolest monkeys" and "away with H&M racist tendencies". One person reported seeing EFF supporters looting the store before police arrived, evacuated the store and closed it, with some protesters still inside.

On the other side of Pretoria, police officers were on standby at the Kolonnade Mall, as the EFF protests targeted different shopping centres.

The Swedish brand received serious flak for this, following which the company released a statement, "We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image".

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"We have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities - and we have not lived up to this responsibility this time".

Singer The Weeknd, who had collaborated with the company, said the advert made him feel "shocked and embarrassed".

"We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future".

'Therefore, we've not only removed the image from our channels but also the garment from our product offering'. A netizen "TheColouredZimbo" said via Twitter, "What happens if H&M pulls out of South Africa?"

The ad, which has been deleted, met backlash earlier in the week when it was shared on social media.

The protests come despite the mother of the model, Terry Mango, telling critics to "get over it".

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