racist hoodie HM little boy thegrio.com
H&M UK @CharlesMBlow

Protesters have targeted stores in South Africa to protest a recent H&M ad put out by the popular retailer.

The Swedish company published an ad of a black child wearing a green hoodie emblazoned with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle” and it outraged many who saw it and heard about it. The company has since removed the ad and apologized for putting it together in the first place.

The company has released a statement regarding the H&M ad.

“We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree.

“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…

“Our position is simple – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.”

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Video footage has emerged showing protesters at stores tearing down displays, knocking over mannequins and throwing clothing around. Police responded to some of the incidents using rubber bullets on protesters.

Floyd Shivambu, a spokesman for the socialist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, praised the protests on Twitter, saying, “That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism. All rational people should agree that the store should not be allowed to continue operating in South Africa. Well done to Fighters who physically confronted racism.”

EFF members showed up at the H&M store in Clearwater mall on Saturday.

“We are here to just remind them that the monkeys own this place,” says Donald Mabunda. “We are here to inform them, if you want to undermine the black people in this country, these are the results.”

He went on to say that they are willing to sleep at the mall until they are able to meet with a company representative about the H&M ad.