There is a new twist in the H&M public relations nightmare that erupted after a black child model was posed in a hoodie that read “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
Comments made by a woman who appears to be the young model’s mom have emerged on social media, and she’s telling critics to let it go.
A Facebook exchange involving a woman named Terry Mango, a Kenyan national who resides and works in Sweden, was posted to the Instagram account of Instablog9ja -- a verified account that accepts user submitted stories and seems to focus on content from Africa (predominantly Nigeria).
In the post, Mango says she is the mother of the child model and responds as follows (spelling is left as written, punctuation condensed):
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled. Stop crying Wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here. get over it. If I bought that jumper and put it on him and posted it on my pages, would that make me a racist? I get (people’s) opinion, but they are not mine
The image -- which had appeared on the e-commerce site in the U.K. -- created an international public relations nightmare for H&M after it surfaced on Twitter. Critics demanded everything from an apology to a boycott of the brand.
Celebrities began denouncing the company including the Weeknd, who said he would cut ties with the company; and P. Diddy, who reportedly offered the young boy an opportunity to model for Diddy’s Sean John clothing brand.
H&M ultimately removed the image from the website and took the product out of rotation, promising to recycle the unsold garments.
Opinions from the international community were spread among those who believed H&M was being intentionally racist, inadvertently racist or not racist at all.
But, some critics had equally harsh words for the boy’s parents for allowing him to model the hoodie in the first place. This may have ultimately prompted the woman to post to followers via her Facebook page, which would have been private had a “friend” not shared the post with Instablog9ja.