Mom of H&M 'Coolest Monkey' ad model slams critics 'crying wolf,' tells them to 'get over it'

Mom of H&M 'Coolest Monkey' ad model slams critics 'crying wolf,' tells them to 'get over it'

In fairness, most countries and cultures don't see this as racist.

I know swedes call kids "monkeys" as just a regular part of speech.

in Scotland we call them "wee shite's"

I totally get why people are angry over the ad at first take. However I think it's useful to understand that in this context, it's completely innocent. Kids of all races love monkeys. They play on monkey bars and climb trees. We should be able to differentiate between racists calling black people monkeys and a monkey/jungle themed clothing item for kids. Is it wrong for black children to wear/model stuff like this? I just feel like we're fighting the wrong fight here.

Reminds me of Demarcus Cousins making the NBA cancel their Chinese new year celebration because 'Year of the Monkey' is apparently insensitive to black people.

Like yes, 4000 years of Chinese history was all a setup to spite black folks.

The sweatshirt was also pulled from store shelves and will be recycled, the company said.

Don't "recycled" clothes like this go to kids in Africa? Akin to the clothing they preprint for the losing team of the Superbowl?

I think the real kicker about the ad, to back up your point, is the tone with which the shirt is written. It doesn't just say "Monkey". If it did, yea, that's pretty racist. But "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle" is clearly designed to be cutesy aimed at kids. I'm usually on the side of social awareness and whatnot, but this is clearly a case of people making mountains out of molehills.

I can't even count how many of my son's baby clothes say something like "little monkey" or whatever. Calling it racist is just making sure it stays racist.

My mom called us “boogers” and “monsters” and I call my kids “hellspawn”. I don’t think kids ever have flattering nicknames as a rule.

I'm pretty sure parents of all races refer to their kids as "monkeys" at some point or another. For good reason.

When I need my kids I yell out "NERDS" and they both come running.

That's the dumbest fucking thing I've heard this year

Well, to be fair, she did sign off on it, makes sense to be defensive...

...oh wait she's not even American. how was she supposed to know about the wacky shit we say here?

We call kids monkeys in the US, too.

However, "monkey" has a different history with being used to refer to black people by strangers, one of which the advertising department should have been aware. (Edit: In the United States, to be clear)

American here. In Midwestern suburbia, kids were affectionately known as "yard apes" when I was growing up.

That does happen sometimes, but there's also textile recycling where the original garment is destroyed but the fibers are used for insulation or stuffing or rags.

It's actually a major source of income for organizations like Goodwill, they sell to recyclers any clothing which is too damaged or which doesn't sell after a period of time.

I've even seen like an old office chair break open to find that the headrest was stuffed with a bunch of different colors of packed fabric, that was probably old t-shirts.

What are you basing that off of? I guess I can’t speak to Sweden in particular, but racist football fans in Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands have all thrown bananas at black players, so the idea to compare a black person to a monkey as an insult is at least somewhat present in those cultures.

it's not actually racist

it just looks really racist

there's a difference

As a black man that's been called an "ape" and a "porch monkey" (The dude made the noises and everything) to my face, I thought the ad was pretty fucked up.

But every black person deals with this kind of stuff a little differently, so I'm not salty at her response. That being said I would never put my child in anything that's referring to him as a monkey. I'm just not going to do that. But I'm from the American South so I can understand how folks from other countries may not get it.

Do I think it's racist? Meh. As an American, I do think it's terribly ignorant and insensitive ( I sound a lot more upset than I actually am), but again, from what I understand this was not necessarily made for the American audience.

They play on monkey bars and climb trees.

You mean simian bars? Let's not offend anyone here

The fact that this has been one of the biggest stories of the past week makes me think we must be out of real problems.

In the US, you show how not racist you are by perpetuating racial slurs that most people don’t think about, and then being outraged that people could be so insensitive as to forget that said racial slur existed.

Even with that being said, h+m is not an American company and is not marketing to Americans. Why should they have to be well versed in the urban dictionary to make sure they don't trigger somebody. People just somehow haven't run out of things to be pissy about.

Lol at when a retired black NBA player insinuated that Jeremy Lin was appropriating black culture by growing dreads. Jeremy Lin was very respectful towards him while pointing out that said black player had Chinese tattoos on his body.

Porch Monkey

Is that the same thing as a ?

well, you see Cousins acts like a 4 year old on the court so it only makes sense he has the brain of one too.

I mean what’s worse hiring this kid for this ad or not hiring him for the ad because he black and it would be racist to put a black kid in a shirt that says monkey on it? I feel like once you don’t hire a kid for that reason, you’re making it racist. Are black kids not allowed to wear monkey themed stuff? Someone made the shirt and they found a kid to wear it. That’s as far as this needs to go.

It's about context. I knew a mother from Kenya who called her daughters "the two monkeys." It was very cute an endearing. But, if someone were to call her (an adult) a monkey in a derogatory way, it would be very insulting.

Throwing bananas at a football player is dehumanizing and insulting. Using a "pet name" for a child (or friend or loved one) is cute and endearing.

..or steven adams from OKC, in an interview said his teammates were running around like little monkeys, he's from nz were monkey has no racial meaning, still got in shit for saying it.

It's cool, he's bringing it back!

In Europe, black soccer players have bananas thrown at them

I think it's racist if black kids can't wear a shirt that alludes to monkeys because of bullshit adult nonsense.

I feel like being offended by this is more racist because you assumed it was.

Edit: I didn't think this through completely. Not trying to offend anyone you all have good points.

We also call Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Davey Jones the Monkees.

Bars insinuates jail, I'm still offended.

My dad called his 3 daughters his little monkeys...our favorite song was that kiddie song about the monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell down and bumped his head, etc.

That’s why he called us monkeys. We are Mexican.

"Roaches", nom de plume for my grandkids.

Difference is that outrage over the latter enforces the survival of the former.

Who are you calling a mole?

Not everything is about America or American sensitivity. H&M isn't an American brand, and the picture isn't on the American site. Not sure why Americans think they can dictate what other cultures find offensive.

Seeing as there is no real racial connotation between monkeys and white people I'm going to say no.

Meanwhile, the US was treated to imagery like this for eight years

(Posted for the pictures, not the article)

Americans commonly refer to their kids affectionately as monkeys as well. Unfortunately, racists have historically compared black people to apes or monkeys.

The backlash against this ad was, I believe, unnecessary and overdramatic. Unfortunately, feelings over race are still pretty raw over here.

Dumb. I think racial stuff should be about intent. You can tell when someone is being hateful. No need to take offense when none was intended

My daughter is 7 and I still sometimes call her Monkey-Butt.

Isn’t treating them differently because of their skin colour considered discrimination? He’s still a kid, he’s still a little monkey. Don’t let the terrorists win by dictating which speech is appropriate and which isn’t. Historical context be damned, don’t let the terrorists of history win. We get over that kind of racism by treating people the same, black or white, even if it seems a little strange at first. Because eventually it’ll normalize, then suddenly calling black kids monkeys is no more racist than calling white kids monkeys.

Being aware of how things can be construed as racist makes you a racist? I hope you stretched before typing this.

Which is ironic given that Italians are the hairiest people I've ever met in my life. It's a bit rich to call someone a monkey when you can take your shirt off and people still think you're wearing a sweater.

This is easier then to deal with the real problems

We've only just begun. I bet there will be a lot of dumb shit coming our way.

What did Peter Tork ever do to you?

I wonder sometimes if the attention called by all the outrage is not more harmful than the slur in the first place. Now all these people are contemplating the slur and the association. If the objective was to avoid hurt feelings, how is this better? Virtue signaling.

The difference is that portraying black people as monkeys was meant to dehumanize them as a group. Portraying Bush as a monkey was commentary on his perceived lack of intelligence. They weren't calling white people in general monkeys, in attempt to dehumanize them.

The abuse directed at Obama and his family had obvious racial tones. Look at pictures of protests against him by the Tea Party. Read the signs. This is all well documented.

Edit: typo

Also, shirts get torn into rags and packed into bags and sold to shops as oil rags. And old shirts get shredded and are used to pack punching bags. Those are the ones I’m aware of.

Fuck social awareness. I have 3 kids, they are little fucking impulsive primates.

Black, white, yellow, red, or whatever; kids are little monkeys and anyone who thinks that is racist has never procreated.

I'm sorry you had to grow up around such ugly, racist behavior. Hope things are better now.

privileged white people

The most prominent person speaking out against this (and severing ties with H&M) was The Weeknd, who is black, and called the ad "deeply offensive". Of course The Weeknd doesn't speak for all black people, but let's do away with the narrative that the only people offended by this are virtue-signalling white people on the internet. Plenty of very real black people were offended by the ad. That's kind of the point.

He is an emotional lesbian

If the first thing that comes to your mind when you see "monkey" is "black people", then YOURE the racist

She looks like the coolest duck in the pond

I can tell you EXACTLY how it's damaging. I used to work at a bar with black people and white people, myself being white. I made some good friends there who were black and we're still friends but I had to get off their facebook pages. The last year in particular with Trump has been brutal and the left certainly didn't back down from using race to rise tensions whenever they got a chance to as well.

In any case, there were post, at least once a week, on my friends pages that started stirring up race, 8/10 times it wasn't my friends but their friends who would take it too far and then soon enough it was "all white people suck" (and I'm really really scaling back what was said here). It made me feel awkward around them in person where I wasn't before. From the things that were said on their posts I'm wondering if I should feel some form of guilt or something. To be fair we're still cool and we've never been anything but, but the facebook comments, man they gave me glimpse into a kind of ugliness. I'm sure they get the same feeling if they had friends who were posting obnoxious posts on the other side of the coin.

I guess it felt like it drove a wedge between people I liked and at least their friends and myself.

In a similar issue I have a gay friend who constantly reminds me "I'll never know what it's like" and I get that but that sentiment pushes me away, you know what I'm saying? It's kind of like saying "we can talk about it but there's really no point, you and I are different and I have it hard and you can't understand it". I mean I'm pretty open and love talking to people but I kind of feel like I'm being told to "go back to my white straight friends".

NoVA checking in.

Anyone up for a game of smear the queer?

It’s almost as if humans were evolutionarily similar to monkeys at one point and we all share traits with them to this day.

But for some reason outrage is currency these days so people gotta bank it up while they can.

While you're correct, that retired black NBA player you mentioned is Kenyon Martin - a dude who's a fake tough-guy dumbass

Don't you dare bring reason into this.

The italians do the same thing.

I call my nephew Donkey Brains because he is so stubborn.

Seems like there’s a very clear double standard here. But you knew that anyway.

Yes, of course there is "double-standard." Most people are aware that racism targeting black people in America has been a huge issue for centuries.

Don't forget black politicians.

Oh so it's not just an American thing and everyone in these threads are full of shit. Got it, thank you.

This man has perspective, perspective is everything, what might be right for you may not be right for some, the people "calling out" the people who've dealt with the actual racism don't understand that some people have a vastly different opinion about racial epithets and there place in ads and society when those words are used for hate.

So European soccer players haven’t had bananas thrown at them on the field for the past however many years?

Don’t pretend like this is just unique to America.

Is that like monkey in the middle? Damn us Midwesterners with our racist children's games!

Like yes, 4000 years of Chinese history was all a setup to spite black folks.

The Chinese play a deep game.

Got shredded on twitter for saying the Politically Correct Police are out in force on this one and people are way overreacting. And now this.

Just because some American celebrities get all triggered about this hoodie doesn't mean a company has to shut down an entire product line - that's sold all over the world.

"Get over it!"

Because eventually it’ll normalize...

... the racist idea that black people are monkeys. Unfortunately this can go both ways.

In an ideal world, every child could wear that thing no matter the color, but we do not live in that world and we might never live there if we don't care.

In a store close to me they sold childrens pyjamas. Blue ones advertised for boys saying " Become a super hero" and pink ones advertised for girls saying "My Dad is my super hero".

In both cases I can not understand that these things went through so many instances that had to approve this and not a single one raised their hand, especially against the monkey shirt picture. The people who make these shirts and the ones who advertise them get paid to sell them in a way that is not offensive and/or stupid. It is part of their job description to think about stuff like that and they didn't.

Treating the people the same means to treat them with the same care and this was at best careless or stupid or worst case very mean.

There's nothing wrong with recognizing something that could be offensive to some in the right context. You're definitely not racist for recognizing it either, that's idiotic. I do however think that if you get offended on other peoples behalf when there was clearly no intention to offend you are still a part of the problem, not the solution.

I think he was being sarcastic, I THINK.

H&M is a Swedish company

It's the latest Enlightened Moderate talking point. If you recognize racist slurs/dogwhistles/etc then obviously you're AKSHUALLY the racist for making the association between the words/images and a race of people. Nevermind that you weren't the one to make the association (it was actually someone doing this association sometime in the past, and often before you were born), and all you've done is identify the association and express why it's harmful because, somehow, it's logical for you to be held responsible for the ideas expressed by others... because you've pointed them out as harmful bullshit.

White, virtue signaling millennials screeching that everything is racist in competition over who's the most progressive and hates racism the most has done serious damage to actual race relations and whatever progress we were making as a nation.

Just because you're offended doesn't mean something is offensive?

Also, I'm willing to wager more than half those celebrities calling out H&M were just protecting their own damn image without any care as to whether or not they agreed or disagreed with the issue.

heh, my folks went with "heathens", and "savages".

What!? I'm taking it back!

Ugh, it's like when Demarcus Cousins complained about year of the monkey shirts being given out on the first day of black history month. Uh, the Chinese zodiac existed long before black history month did, and I find his interpretation of monkeys being offensive pretty culturally insensitive of him. Not every culture revolves around what you find offensive, and I feel the outrage is mostly American centric

I’m not a mountain, I’m just big stoned. Quit plat-shaming.


Whole bunch of in this thread.

Stoop kid won't leave his stoop!

It's almost like words can have different meaning depending on the context.

sometimes the punching bag material is, uh, less refined

That's not what they're saying. They're saying by overreacting to things that even look racist, you'll never been rid of racism.

If we lived in a world where racism was eliminated, just invoking the ghost of racism would make it real again(even if there was no racist intent.) This is the catch-22 of the subjective experience. People can perceive things a racist, sexist, etc. even if they aren't. And if others give validity to the subjective experience, then it's just as real as objective racism, no?

“I gotta go, my weiner kid is bothering me” - said by me, often.

That's a stereotype. It's not necessarily racist, it just paints a not-so-accurate picture. Racism is actually point things out as a negative and inferring that one culture is superior to another. The person you're responding to isn't claiming that being hairy as fuck is a positive or a negative, just that the Italians they met were hairy. It's not entirely accurate and an unfair stereotype to apply to an entire race of people, but it's not racist. It wouldn't take much to push it over the edge, but what we Americans call "racist" is often just being insenitive and applying stereotypes to people. Nazis are racist, the kkk is racist, this person's just being ignorant.

I know this is probably racist, but I really want to see that..... more for the delicious irony than anything else.

My brother’s name is Tristan, but I call him Turdstain.

I thought monkey bars were where monkeys go to get drunk.

But that's because people say they monkey around.

Well yeah but....everyone knows soccer players lack vitamin's just science that's all.

Except they didn't present it to the US market. It's a photo from their UK online storefront. Hell, it's not even really an ad, but just the photo on the website.

Bitter and brittle

Yes, but today we live in a world full of idiots who can't tell the difference.