The Internet nearly exploded this week when a viral ad from clothing store H&M featured a black child model wearing a green hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” printed on the front. There were the typical cries of “racism,” as well as calls for someone to lose their job. Celebrities joined the complaints and hip-hop artist The Weeknd ended his endorsement with the company.
But there was at least one very important person who didn’t see anything wrong with the ad: the boy’s mother, Terry Mango. According to the New York Post, Mango and her son live in Stockholm, Sweden. She slammed the backlash in a series of now-deleted Facebook posts:
“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 racist? I get pples opinion, but they are not mine.”
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this… I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
Mango said she is at all of her son’s modeling jobs and was there when he wore the “monkey” hoodie.
H&M responded and has stopped selling the item:
We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering.
It’s obvious that our routines haven’t been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We’ll thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.
NBA star LeBron James reimagined the ad on Instagram:
Someone who had no business weighing in but did anyway responded with a change of her own. Rachel Dolezol, who is not black but thinks she is, is selling her own version of the hoodie and donating the proceeds to “the Cause," which we're pretty sure is just her. She took offense because she said her son was called a "monkey" at school. The first incarnation of her design said, "Coolest Prince in the Hood." Then she changed the last word to "World," before settling on "Planet:"
We’re with the boys mother, stop crying and get over it. There are actual problems in the world.