Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments


Tequila_Wolf wrote

I'm not following your meaning. What wouldn't cross your mind as race-related? Casting black people as monkeys is a pretty clear cut case.

The thing as a whole was a publicity stunt as much as it was an action by a political party, but it does warm my heart to see shops trashed like that in a place where that kind of action is quite uncommon.


Cartoon_Cat wrote (edited )

I guess I mean that I find it unlikely that H&M thought "lets put this monkey shirt on a black kid". It's more likely they have a diverse range of models and don't consider what they make them wear. If we were to speculate how these shoots happen, there's probably a stack of shirts and the photographer just churns through them without paying much attention to the content of them. Or, like most online stores, they superimpose the shirt on a shot of a model (although this is probably unlikely looking at the image).

I think I'm trying to say that most people don't think black people bear any resemblance to monkeys and I don't think this shirt casts black people as monkeys by being modeled by a black child - that's not to say there's no problem with this image considering the history and current climate, and I think you're probably right that this was a deliberate stunt which is disgusting.

Just the outrage seems a bit one-dimensional, can't we go further with our criticism of H&M? - yeah a black kid wore a monkey shirt, but if his black parents had no issue with the shirt, why should we? I had a brief search and found a handful of monkey shirts modeled by black models, but is this different because it jokes that the wearer is a monkey?

I'm not trying to be an apologist for H&M, I just want to understand what they're expected to do instead - tell the kid "oh sorry you can't model this monkey hoodie, because you're black and people might think we're calling black people monkeys"? Additionally I think there are stronger arguments for trashing H&M is all.

EDIT: I missed a critical line along with a quote in the linked article, that the other shirts in the range were modelled by white children, apart from this one. My mistake, it's far worse than I've assumed and I regret not reading more thoroughly before commenting