H&M stores ransacked in South Africa over 'monkey' ad_Business_Asia Pacific Daily

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H&M stores ransacked in South Africa over 'monkey' ad

Business2018-01-14

Protesters attacked H&M shops in South Africa on Saturday, pulling down clothes racks and smashing mannequins, over a recent ad they said was racist. Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a political party, ransacked at least six of the Swedish company’s shops in malls in and around Johannesburg, reports said. At one location, police said they fired rubber bullets to force the protesters to leave. No arrests were made, however, Reuters reported. Videos shared online showed dozens of EFF protesters in red T-shirts dancing, singing and playing music outside the stores as other shoppers looked on. Screenshot of @theweeknd's Twitter feed The source of the anger was a recent H&M ad featuring a young black boy wearing a green hoodie with the words “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Monkey has often been used as a slur against black people. H&M took down the ad following the backlash and issued an apology on its US and South African websites among others, condemning “racism and bias in any shape or form… (as) unacceptable and not in line with our values.” “Our position is simple – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry,” it said, adding that it had removed the sweatshirt from sale and would investigate the issue “to ensure this can’t ever happen again.” EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, said on Saturday this was not enough. “The time of apologies for racism is over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!” he tweeted, calling the attacks on the stores “absolutely justified.” Screenshot of H&M website Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd and US rapper G-Eazy announced earlier this week they were cutting ties with the brand, with whom they were developing clothing lines, over the ad. “It’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could… be deemed acceptable,” G-Eazy tweeted. Saturday’s actions however also drew criticism from Internet users. “I am sorry to say this but VANDALISM is not gonna resolve racism in South Africa… If shops close, who will be jobless? US,” tweeted user @ChrisMpululu. H&M has temporarily shut its shops in South Africa for now. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will open the stores as soon as the situation is safe again,” a spokesperson told Euronews. (CGTN)

Protesters attacked H&M shops in South Africa on Saturday, pulling down clothes racks and smashing mannequins, over a recent ad they said was racist.

Supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a political party, ransacked at least six of the Swedish company’s shops in malls in and around Johannesburg, reports said.

At one location, police said they fired rubber bullets to force the protesters to leave. No arrests were made, however, Reuters reported.

Videos shared online showed dozens of EFF protesters in red T-shirts dancing, singing and playing music outside the stores as other shoppers looked on.

Screenshot of @theweeknd's Twitter feed

Screenshot of @theweeknd's Twitter feed

The source of the anger was a recent H&M ad featuring a young black boy wearing a green hoodie with the words “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Monkey has often been used as a slur against black people.

H&M took down the ad following the backlash and issued an apology on its US and South African websites among others, condemning “racism and bias in any shape or form… (as) unacceptable and not in line with our values.”

“Our position is simple – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry,” it said, adding that it had removed the sweatshirt from sale and would investigate the issue “to ensure this can’t ever happen again.”

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, said on Saturday this was not enough.

“The time of apologies for racism is over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!” he tweeted, calling the attacks on the stores “absolutely justified.”

Screenshot of H&M website

Screenshot of H&M website

Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd and US rapper G-Eazy announced earlier this week they were cutting ties with the brand, with whom they were developing clothing lines, over the ad.

“It’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could… be deemed acceptable,” G-Eazy tweeted.

Saturday’s actions however also drew criticism from Internet users.

“I am sorry to say this but VANDALISM is not gonna resolve racism in South Africa… If shops close, who will be jobless? US,” tweeted user @ChrisMpululu.

H&M has temporarily shut its shops in South Africa for now. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will open the stores as soon as the situation is safe again,” a spokesperson told Euronews.

(CGTN)

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