Sunday, 22 July, 2018

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

The advert featured child model Liam Mango. His mother has revealed she suffered online abuse after the controversy blew The advert featured child model Liam Mango. His mother has revealed she suffered online abuse after the controversy blew
Kenny Thornton | 13 January, 2018, 19:13

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters protested and trashed H&M stores in Gauteng on 13 January 2018 after a racist advert sparked outrage.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a South African revolutionary socialist political party, targeted six H&M stores in the Gauteng province.

Recent anger over an advert by the retail giant H&M has spilled out into violence, with several store branches in South Africa being trashed by protesters. "Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets", Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Despite the police presence, no arrests were made.

In Menlyn, protestors had also managed to enter the shop and threw clothing around.

"We are here to tell them". The H&M signage outside the shop had been broken and red fragments were still on the floor.

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"We're not going to leave".

"This shop must close".

The retailer had used a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".

In a statement posted to Instagram last week, H&M said it had removed the advertisement and garment.

Swedish multinational clothing-retail company H&M would have to "invest in building bridges" after its blunder involving a racially offensive hoodie‚ says inter-cultural communication expert Jette Kristiansen. One person reported seeing EFF supporters looting the store before police arrived, evacuated the store and closed it, with some protesters still inside. "They (H&M) need to spend more money on understanding their customers and also think of their black staff who will have to go to work after what has just happened‚" said Kristiansen.

The Sandton City Shopping Centre confirmed on twitter that they had engaged with the team leaders of the EFF and that the protest outside H&M would dissipate after they have been issued with the corporate statement of apology by H&M.

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