Protesters attack South African H&M stores over `racist` ad

H&M stores trashed in South Africa over 'coolest monkey' hoodie

The worldwide chain store earlier this week apologised after an outcry on Twitter over an advert depicting a black child wearing green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle". The Weeknd ended his collaboration with them, and social media in general spurned the retailer for the offensive imagery.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a South African revolutionary socialist political party, targeted six H&M stores in the Gauteng province. "SAPS members had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets".

The EFF is the third-largest political party in South Africa, led by expelled former African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema, who was kicked out for inciting violence against the "boer", or white people, with the goal of sparking a race war.

The Sandton Chronicle reported Police Captain Granvile Meyer said: 'The EFF supporters have caused damage inside the [H&M] store.

The image advertising the £7.99 jumper was removed from H&M's USA and United Kingdom websites shortly after the outrage broke and the retailer quickly issued a statement apologising to "anyone it may have offended".


Asked by a South African shopper via Twitter why it had only white models to promote its new African shops, H&M replied that "it's essential for us to convey a positive message" which inflamed the row further, prompting the business to apologise for an offence.

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

Protesters in front of an H&M store in Cape Town on Saturday.

In a statement posted to Instagram last week, H&M said it had removed the advertisement and garment. The image was pulled from the website following the controversy. "We stress that our wonderful store staff had nothing to do with our poorly judged product and image".

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