Protestors ransack H&M shops in South Africa over 'racist' advertisement

14 January, 2018, 10:20 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
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They accuse H&M of racism after the retailer used a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".

Video footage showed activists trashing displays, kicking over clothes rails and shoving mannequins.

H&M stores were closed yesterday after EFF members protested at Sandton City, East Rand Mall and Menlyn Mall, trashing the stores.

Gauteng police are on high alert following several incidents during protests at H&M shops around the province on Saturday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said.

In one instance officers were forced to use rubber bullet to break up the protests. "Well done to Fighters who physically confronted racism".

"We can't accept that H&M, after what they have done, is coming now and saying we apologise".

Protestors ransack H&M shops in South Africa over 'racist' advertisement

The protesters say they meant to burn the Sandton store to send a message that racism is not tolerated.

H&M hasn't had the best experience in Africa in the two years since its first store opened on the continent. The image was pulled from the website following the controversy.

H&M said in a statement that it's "aware of the recent events inside several of our South African stores", and it has "temporarily" closed all stores in the country.

The ad was widely criticized for being racist, including by Canadian pop star The Weeknd, who collaborated with H&M, the world's second-largest clothing group, on two collections in 2017.

H&M has removed the image from online promotions but it continues to be circulated on social media, where some have called for a boycott of the company. The ad was considered racist by many people on social media and prompted celebrities - including music artists The Weeknd, G-Eazy and Sean "Diddy" Combs and National Basketball Association star LeBron James - to publicly criticize H&M.

Floyd Shivambu, an MP from the EFF, tweeted: "That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism".

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