The Weeknd Cuts Ties With H&M After “Offensive” Hoodie Appears On Website

The Weeknd has cut ties with H&M after a racially insensitive photo surfaced on its website of a young black boy wearing a hoodie that says, “Coolest monkey in the jungle.”

“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore.”

The item of clothing – and the context in which it was modelled – has been circulating on social media over the last couple days, with people asking how the brand could have slipped up.

The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) began collaborating with H&M in 2017, launching collaborative pieces under his XO brand and staring in multiple H&M campaigns.

Following the backlash, the Swedish retailer issued an apology and pulled the image from its website.

“We sincerely apologise for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top,” it said. “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”

The company then made the decision to pull the item from its range completely, issuing another statement.

“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally. It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”