— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Canadian singer The Weeknd has dropped his association with fashion retailer H&M after the brand used a young black model to advertise a jumper bearing the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
The 27-year-old Grammy winner, real name Abel Tesfaye, told his 8 million Twitter followers that he was “deeply offended” by the image.
Tesfaye had been working with the Swedish brand as a collaborator on his XO clothing label and had previously performed at the retailer’s fashion shows.
The reaction on social media to the image was intense, with many suggesting it was hurtful and tone-deaf.
H&M quickly apologised, saying the image had been removed from its online platforms and the product pulled from sale in the US.
“We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues,” it said in a statement.
Some on social media, including Questlove, suggested this kind of issue was the result of a lack of black representation in decision-making positions at companies like H&M.