Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Protesters in South Africa Ransack H&M Stores Over 'Racist' Ad (PHOTO, VIDEO)

One of the trashed H&M shops One of the trashed H&M shops
Herman Weaver | 14 January, 2018, 12:54

Fashion group H&M apologized earlier this week for an advertisement featuring a black child modelling a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle" and said it had removed it from all its marketing. The Weeknd ended his collaboration with them, and social media in general spurned the retailer for the offensive imagery.

Clothes racks were pushed over, mannequins thrown on the floor and clothes destroyed in H&M stores at Sandton City and Menlyn in Johannesburg.

Police officers were seen patrolling around the mall monitoring the situation after rubber bullets were used to disperse the EFF protestors.

EFF leader Julius Malema defended the rampage, saying: "We make no apology about what the fighters did today".

H&M has had to close stores temporarily in South Africa after several were trashed in response to an online ad, which critics deemed racist.

The image copped widespread criticism, with U.S. singer The Weekend among those to voice his distaste, saying he was "shocked and embarrassed".

However, shortly after H&M's HR manager Randall April read out the formal apology relating to the advert to the protestors, which was issued by H&M global on January 9, Joseph was quick to voice his disappointment.

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People were confused about the "positive image" remark, asking H&M if they thought black people conveyed another message.

"Several incidents of protests at H&M stores around the province have been reported", said the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Twitter.

Protesters in front of an H&M store in Cape Town on Saturday. Ndlozi wrote on his Twitter.

The company told Huffington Post: "By a positive image we mean that we use a mix of models with different ethnic backgrounds in our campaigns".

"We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable", the statement reads.

A H&M spokesman said: "We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children's hoodie".

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