G-Eazy has followed The Weeknd’s lead and ended his partnership with H&M in response to the company’s controversial ad featuring a young black model wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie.
“Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with H&M,” wrote the rapper on social media, along with an image replacing the original message with “coolest king of the world.” “Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable.”
The message from G-Eazy, whose H&M collection was announced last month and set for a March 1 release, concluded, “I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become culturally and racially aware, as well as more diverse at every level.”
“We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image,” a spokesperson for H&M told EW. “We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable. We completely understand the criticism and we agree with it. We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment from all stores globally. We are now investigating internally to avoid this from happening again. We will continue the discussion with G-Eazy and his team separately.”
G-Eazy joins The Weeknd, Diddy, LeBron James, and more in criticizing the Swedish clothing retailer for the “disrespectful” imagery.
“We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image,” a spokesperson for H&M told EW on Monday about The Weeknd’s response. “We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. We have removed the image from all our channels and the sweater is no longer for sale in our stores. We will also look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future. We will continue the discussion with The Weeknd and his team separately.”