The mother of a child model at the centre of a row over a “racist” hoody has claimed she was racially abused herself after saying people should “get over it”.
Terry Mango, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden, said she has received abusive comments including being called “monkey” – the same word that sparked the furore.
She told Gulf News: “How can you fight racism if you make racist remarks? You cannot try to defend my son and use the same words to describe me.”
Swedish fashion giant H&M has drawn widespread criticism of its advert showing a black child modelling a top with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle”.
It was first brought to light by blogger Stephanie Yeboah, who wrote: “Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’? I mean. What.”
The backlash spiralled when singer The Weeknd – who has previously modelled for H&M – cut ties with the retailer.
The retailer apologised over the incident and said it had removed the image from its website and that the hoodie was withdrawn from sale.
“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,” the firm said.
But the five-year-old boy’s mother, a Kenyan national living in Stockholm, Sweden, later spoke out to say she did not understand the outrage.
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled… Stop crying Wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here… Get over it,” wrote Terry Mango in a social media post which has now been deleted.
In another message, she added: “That’s my son…. av been to all photoshoots and this was not an exception, everyone is entitled to their opinion about this.
“I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
She told Gulf News that she is shielding her son from the media storm, about which he has “no idea”.