The past week has been a tense time for H&M after their controversial ‘racist’ hoodie stirred a backlash from the public. This, following a Swedish child model made to wear a jacket that says, “Coolest monkey in the jungle”. Questions were raised as to why the boy had to don the clothing among their batch of interracial child models, leading the public to cry foul against the clothing brand.
It wasn’t too long that the news reached big names in Hollywood, particularly African-Americans stars. Among those who took to social media to denounce H&M were Manchester United footballer Romerlu Lukaku, basketball player Lebron James, and rapper-songwriter PDiddy. R&B singer The Weeknd, who can be recalled to have collaborated with the fashion brand months prior, also officiated that he “will not be working with @hm anymore”. This prompted the retail company to take down the photo from their websites and issue a public apology.
However, in the midst of the adverse reactions, the child model’s mom who believes that there’s nothing wrong with the image. Terry Mango, emigrated from Nigeria to Sweden, shocked many with her unexpected response defending the clothing brand. She was quoted as saying on Facebook:
“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 [sic].”
Shedding a light on her statement, the mom said that she doesn’t understand the issue as it isn’t her “way of thinking”. She also emphasized that “everyone is entitled to their opinion.” Upon seeing the comments, netizens strayed from the matter in hand to throw hate at her comment. In a report from the Daily Mail, Ms. Mango spoke about trolls using the racial slur ‘monkey’ at her, implying of their hypocrisy.
“How can you fight racism if you make racist remarks? You cannot try to defend my son and use the same words to describe me.”
Not only Terry is convinced that H&M wasn’t being racist, as her uncle Clay Oyango also gave the fashion brand the benefit of the doubt. While he and the family are expecting an apology from the label, he takes it that they just “overlooked” the matter.
“Maybe it’s just one of those mistakes that one makes. But there are many questions you can ask – how did they miss that? We spoke to them and they said it wasn’t meant to be racist.”
What do you think of this statement from the child model’s mother regarding H&M’s controversial ‘racist’ hoodie? Do you side with the raging public, or do you agree with the mother? Share with us what your thoughts and reactions are by leaving a comment below!