Mother of H&M race row child model speaks out

The mother of the child model at the centre of the H&M race row has branded the backlash to the image ‘unnecessary’.

Terry Mango, of Stockholm, Sweden, spoke out after the retailer faced accusations of racism over an image of her son wearing a jumper emblazoned with ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’. 

In a series of Facebook posts, Ms Mango urged critics – including high profile musicians and sports stars – to ‘get over it’ and to ‘stop crying wolf’. 

Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku, basketball player LeBron James and music mogul P Diddy are among the celebrities who slammed the advert as shoppers called for a boycott of the chain. Meanwhile musician The Weeknd, who has collaborated and modelled for H&M said he was cutting all ties with the retailer.

The outrage prompted H&M to remove the image from its UK and US websites and to issue a statement saying it was ‘deeply sorry’.  

Controversial: H&M has come under fire this week over an advert featuring a black child model wearing a jumper emblazoned with 'Coolest Monkey in the Jungle'

Controversial: H&M has come under fire this week over an advert featuring a black child model wearing a jumper emblazoned with 'Coolest Monkey in the Jungle'

Controversial: H&M has come under fire this week over an advert featuring a black child model wearing a jumper emblazoned with ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’

Speaking out: Terry Mango, mother of the child model, has branded the uproar 'unnecessary'

Speaking out: Terry Mango, mother of the child model, has branded the uproar 'unnecessary'

Speaking out: Terry Mango, mother of the child model, has branded the uproar ‘unnecessary’

She commented in a Facebook post (pictured) that has been widely circulated on social media

She commented in a Facebook post (pictured) that has been widely circulated on social media

She commented in a Facebook post (pictured) that has been widely circulated on social media

However Ms Mango, who moved to Sweden from Nigeria, has blasted the fierce public response in a series of Facebook posts that have been widely circulated on social media. 

She wrote: ‘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 [sic].’

The dismissive comment was met with surprise by some social media users, who questioned why Ms Mango was endorsing the ‘racist’ image. 

Clarifying her stance, Ms Mango explained she ‘really doesn’t understand’ the issue, adding: ‘Not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking sorry [sic].’ In a separate post she added: ‘Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  

Hands-on: Terry, above with her son, said she had been at the shoot when the photo was taken

Hands-on: Terry, above with her son, said she had been at the shoot when the photo was taken

Hands-on: Terry, above with her son, said she had been at the shoot when the photo was taken

Ms Mango also said that she had been at the photoshoot where the photo of her son was taken and that she always accompanies him on modelling jobs. 

H&M’s response 

Within hours of the image gaining attention, H&M took the decision to remove it from its UK and US websites and ‘all other channels’. 

It issued a statement apologising for any offence caused. 

A spokesman for H&M told MailOnline: ‘This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.’ 

As attention on the issue intensified, and the controversy continued to grow, H&M released a further statement via its Instagram page. 

It read: ‘We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. 

‘We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print. 

‘Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels but also the garment from our product offering.’ 

The image advertising the £7.99 jumper was removed from H&M’s US and UK websites shortly after news of the outrage broke.

The retailer quickly issued a statement apologising to ‘anyone it may have offended’.

However the image was still shared thousands of times on social media and drew comments from dozens of high-profile critics. 

Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku posted an edited picture of the boy on his Instagram page with ‘Black is Beautiful’ on the hoody instead.

He then wrote: ‘You’re prince soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different… #blackexcellence.’ 

NBA star LeBron James has also slammed H&M for the advert. He fumed on social media: ‘U got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up!

‘Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! 

‘We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!’ 

Speaking out: Mother Terry Mango, pictured, said she 'didn't understand' the problem

Speaking out: Mother Terry Mango, pictured, said she 'didn't understand' the problem

Speaking out: Mother Terry Mango, pictured, said she ‘didn’t understand’ the problem

US rapper Pusha T and singer The Weeknd have also lashed out at H&M vowing never to work with or buy from the chain again.

Pusha T posted an edited version of the advert with a crown on the model’s head and hoody, with ‘King of the Wold’ in bold type.

He also wrote the caption: ‘Accurate. Never shopped with you ever… not even for Tshirts @hm’. 

While The Weeknd tweeted: ‘Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…’ 

 

 

 

 

Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku has weighed into the H&M race row by sharing a picture of the store's 'racist' ad with a caption saying 'Black is Beautiful'

Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku has weighed into the H&M race row by sharing a picture of the store's 'racist' ad with a caption saying 'Black is Beautiful'

Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku has weighed into the H&M race row by sharing a picture of the store’s ‘racist’ ad with a caption saying ‘Black is Beautiful’

Even those who doubted the brand was being derogatory admitted there should have been more awareness of how the image could be perceived.

The campaign group Models Of Diversity, which pushes for more diversification across the industry, said H&M should be ‘ashamed’. 

The brand also took to Instagram to express further apology, it said: ‘We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children’s hoodie. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. 

‘We’re deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print. 

‘Therefore, we’ve not only removed the image from our channels but also the garment from our product offering.’ 

Stars speaking out against H&M 

The H&M image – and the surrounding controversy – quickly went viral after it was shared on Twitter. 

Thousands of social media users criticised the advert and celebrities soon joined in the calls for an apology. 

Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku posted an edited picture of the boy on his Instagram page with ‘Black is Beautiful’ on the hoody instead.

Longtime relationship: The Weeknd has twice collaborated with H&M on a line of clothes and performed at the brand's Spring 2017 fashion show

Longtime relationship: The Weeknd has twice collaborated with H&M on a line of clothes and performed at the brand's Spring 2017 fashion show

Longtime relationship: The Weeknd has twice collaborated with H&M on a line of clothes and performed at the brand’s Spring 2017 fashion show

He then wrote: ‘You’re prince soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different… #blackexcellence.’ 

NBA star LeBron James has also slammed H&M for the advert. He fumed on social media: ‘U got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up!

‘Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!’

 Music mogul P Diddy added his voice to the thousands criticising the advert

 Music mogul P Diddy added his voice to the thousands criticising the advert

 Music mogul P Diddy added his voice to the thousands criticising the advert

‘We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!’ 

US rapper Pusha T and singer The Weeknd have also lashed out at H&M vowing never to work with or buy from the chain again.

Pusha T posted an edited version of the advert with a crown on the model’s head and hoody, with ‘King of the Wold’ in bold type.

He also wrote the caption: ‘Accurate. Never shopped with you ever… not even for Tshirts @hm’. 

Chris Classic, an artist from New York is thought to have started the creative protest against H&M

Chris Classic, an artist from New York is thought to have started the creative protest against H&M

Chris Classic, an artist from New York is thought to have started the creative protest against H&M

  

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