The Weeknd cut ties with popular clothing line H&M after the brand posted an advertisement that was deemed racist and offensive.
The controversial photo features a black child wearing a hoodie printed with the phrase "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle."
"Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I'm deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore," the Grammy-winning "Starboy" singer tweeted on Monday, Jan 8.
Citing a source, Rolling Stone confirmed that the musician has indeed severed ties with the Swedish clothing chain.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, started working with H&M in 2017, modeling in several ad campaigns and creating pieces for the singer's XO brand.
Upon being published on the company's website, the photo immediately went viral across various social media channels — and promptly received backlash. Several entertainment figures called out H&M for the racially offensive ad, including Questlove, Lebron James, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, and many others. Rapper King Push also joined the chorus and tweeted he had never shopped at H&M stores, "not even for T-shirts."
H&M quickly apologized for the photo in a statement, saying that it has been removed from all online channels and that the hoodie featured will not be sold in the United States. At the time of the apology, there was no mention whether the product will be sold in other markets.
But the backlash just grew bigger, so much so that H&M decided to issue another statement:
"We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally," H&M said, promising that the incident won't happen again in the future.
Check out some more reactions from Twitter below:
As far as this racist #HM ad, the people of the H & M company knew EXACTLY what they were doing and they anticipated the backlash. This is their coded way of tapping into the white supremacist demographic. Racists buy clothes too, and these companies want those bigoted dollars pic.twitter.com/e0ZUa0Mmyt
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) January 9, 2018
Plies’ message to @hm: pic.twitter.com/Y88SpRYhZX — Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) January 9, 2018
I truly do not believe this @hm stuff is that serious. I just don’t think it was in anyway racist because I highly doubt they purposely put that hoodie on him because of his race.
BUT....I do think it says a lot about this world and how we make everything a freaking war
— Brit (@BriMcGarity) January 9, 2018
Smh @hm did y’all even think about the history that us African Americans went through. This is crazy. Some people take this as a joke but this is serious. If only you white people knew what our African American ancestors went through. This has to stop. ( And yes I am half black ) pic.twitter.com/UiwAICWRY3 — Ihsaan (@EsonnM216) January 9, 2018
I JUST WANNA KNOW WHO APPROVED THIS H&M IMAGE.
— Bibi (@BibiBourelly) January 9, 2018