H&M Stores

H&M closed down all of its stores in South Africa after the stores were ransacked by a group protesting a H&M online advertisement featuring a black boy wearing a hoodie.

The Swedish-based clothing retailer announced all stores in South Africa were temporarily closed after the protesters trashed the stores on Saturday.

Activists and consumers were outraged over an H&M ad featuring a black boy wearing a hoodie that read: "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle".

The boy's mother later dismissed the controversy, telling Americans to "Stop crying wolf all the time".

H&M ad

The protesters, organized by a social justice group called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), ransacked stores in Cape Town, Pretoria, Sandton, Midrand and Boksburg. Only the Sandton location reopened on Monday.

H&M issued a statement on Saturday, saying that none of their employees were injured during the riots.

Coolest Monkey in the Jungle

“We make no apology about what the fighters did today against that store called H&M,” said Julius Malema, a political activist in S. Africa. "Every shop that undermines black people must be attended to," he added. "It must be shut down. It must be closed."

While many on social media understood the anger directed toward the retailer, some activists praised H&M for donating money and resources to South Africa in the past.

"EFF’s message was loud and effective but went against what should be happening which is discussions," tweeted @TkMatakanye on Saturday. "H&M contribute to the country and money that flows. They provide jobs and give people access to funds - even if only one H&M store closes or closes for a while it affects a family."

The H&M ad led celebrities such as Canadian rapper The Weeknd to cut ties with the retailer.

  • Akhenaton
  • Renee26

    OH well... don’t imply that anyone black is a monkey and ish like that won’t happen

  • Renee26


  • Breitbart_Savior

    The mother .... she sounds like a pimp ... sorta like Kris Jenner.

    All money aint good $$$$$$$$ tho

  • Yetunde

    Was the mother talking to just Americans, or was she addressing everyone? She didn't single out any one nationality.

  • Rayne

    That’s terrible.

  • MookieFly

    Honestly, just stop giving these stores money. The black dollar is a powerful thing. Look at how fast Black Panther tickets sold out.

  • tintin

    lmao what in the hell

  • Anunnaki

    We should use silence for this kinda stuff, meaning, ignore they exist, dont walk in, visit website, address them, walk away let them feel it...not see it...jmo

  • MookieFly

    Well that's the last time I'll eat Panda Express

  • SweetTEE

    Good enough for them

  • Jen_no_juice

    The mama must be young. She has that "I wasn't a slave so racism doesn't apply to me" type mentality

  • alex

    But...wait, how can this be? I was informed by a couple of posters that Africans aren't offended like Americans when it comes to calling black people monkey. Maybe this is fake news.

  • Breitbart_Savior

    You're misinformed on multiple levels.

  • alex

    Ha. Ok.

  • Faux Gibbler

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

  • imright

    the Mum is dumb & those ppl that trashed that store are dumber ????

  • JV

    I don't condone violence, but this is an avoidable situation.

  • Pamela

    Your ignorance knows no bounds. Pathetic.

  • WutizstillHERE!

    some activists praised H&M for donating money and resources to South Africa in the past.
    Hmmm so lets see this in a different light. If a racist walks up to you and say here nigg..take this 1000 dollars I need a tax write off...what is he then?
    A racist Humanitarian?
    Now back to the whole "Contributions" they made (tax write off benefiting them) why again should that excuse their behavior?

  • alex

    It seems that I wasn't typing with my sarcasm font.

  • C Mack

    Stupid. This affected the employees who had to spend time cleaning this up.

    Boycott the store. That’s a meaningful statement. This was such an immature response.

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    I may be the only one, but I'm glad they trashed the place because it hurt H+M where it hurts most, their pocket. They knew they would offend people with that hoodie, but thought they would get a lot of press. Now they are, but it's not what they want. Yes the employees gotta work, but we also shouldn't be comfortable working for a company that disrespects our people. At least they didn't trash their OWN neighborhood like they do over here in the states and actually targeted the rightful people. As blacks all we do is walk around with our signs protesting. Action is better.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Sandra your folks across the pond are cutting up.

    Meghan's seed will taint our Royal Family': UKIP chief's glamour model lover, 25, is suspended from the party over racist texts about Prince Harry's wife-to-be


  • alex

    I agree that this hurts the employees who had nothing to do with the racism.

  • Li

    Hmmm...h&m didn't know they would offend people. They thought the ad was cute. If you work in marketing, you know that companies have in-house and outside contractors. More than likely they sourced the ad campaign out to a contractor. The company, for all we know, was from Africa, or America, or anywhere. and once the ad(s) is finished, the company(s) present them to H&M and there's a vote. It's a very long process. It doesn't happen in a day.
    I would venture to say that H&M doesn't have a "diverse" advertising staff. Probably all white, all Europeans. The mom was glad her child was chosen because she's probably trying to get him a modeling career. And that's another story -- the number of moms who are pushing their kids to audition for ad campaigns and commercials is frightening. ($$$ ka-ching).
    Was South Africa the ONLY dark country that rioted? Hmmm....they didn't riot in America, Canada, South America, the islands....I wonder why?

  • morenYAHdelsur

    For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. I don’t trash things, personally. However, some people do. I bet they’ll second guess their photos from now on.

  • Malcom Flex

    The mama and baby daddy are pimp azz sell outs. Taking that kid to Hollywood next to pimp him further??

  • Ryan

    Anyone else see the irony of basically posting "Shut up whiny black Americans" again on this day, of all days?

  • Ryan

    Anyone else see the irony of basically posting "Shut up whiny black Americans" again on this day, of all days?

  • Kayke

    I'm all for protest like these....however, I hope these organizations put funds together to help the employees of the store continue life while finding another job.... Hurt the company but help the people.

  • Noirluv45

    Well, Li, if they didn't know they would offend people, they know now. However, that t-shirt is too pointed for them not to know it was offensive. Why would they associate a Black child with a monkey and not some other animal? They knew.

  • Noirluv45

    I don't agree with them trashing the story, but like others said, they should be hit in the wallet. That's the best way to get their attention. That's the only language they speak.

  • Cocoa Rose

    Exactly. They knew what they were doing. To them, it is an inside joke and notice how they always play innocent when people figure it out. Ironically, I hear them call Al Sharpton racist all of the time, but they can never pinpoint anything that he says that is not true. His messages on red-lining, name and workplace discrimination, and Police brutality are all backed up with studies and stats.

  • You Could Never


  • http://citygirlzen.blogspot.com/ missarewa

    momma doesn't know the difference between am and I'm. smh

  • http://citygirlzen.blogspot.com/ missarewa

    south africa... smdh
    i'll take their protests seriously when they stop killing other africans in their country. this to me is just vandalism

  • Missy

    All money aint good $$$$$$$$ tho RIGHT

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    Okay. Thank you for your statement.

  • Dowoop

    You are off script today. You should be saying he doesn't have a daddy at home.

  • Coffee1st

    H&M promoted in such a way to trash black ppl. Now their stores are being trashed. I'm standing in the neutral zone with the mindset, You reap what you sow". Now how effective this trashing was..... ion know. I would never encourage anybody to do such a thing, but we'll have to admit - they got back what they put out.

  • R in NYC

    The mother of that little boy is a complete idiot. Crying wolf is not even the proper analogy to use. All she cares about is pimping out her kid to make money.

  • Gotitbutsmh

    A simple protest and boycott will do but it's whatever. Miss me with the tax write off donations by H&M.

  • Renee26

    Yeah they did...just because the mother is ok with selling out herself and her son doesn't mean it's not demeaning to black people. Fug her and her little check she got for allowing her son to model it....I would have stopped them and said NO, my child will not model that one; put it on little Timmy

  • WiseGui

    There's video footage of this at different malls and is the topic of discussion on local news and talk radio. I also know people who live there. It happened.

  • NeverSurprised

    Who do you think is crippled by these closures? H&M can open new stores in any european city they want, cities with a far wealthier client base who will spend more money. They won't lose a dime.

    But the BLACKs who WORKED in those stores are out of work at a time when SA is experiencing its highest unemployment in 14 years -- 27.7%.

    A black South African kid working in a store like H&M can feed an entire family. I guess some of you celebrating these closures will travel to the South African shanty towns that have no running water and no electricity and feed those who are now jobless.


  • HalleMerry

    That's what some people say about BLM.

  • http://citygirlzen.blogspot.com/ missarewa

    I can see how it could read like that but I promise you Xenophobia and "all lives matter" are two very different things

  • WiseGui

    I see people are so quick to judge and shame these black South Africans while they sit in their ivory towers.

    People are forgetting that Apartheid only ended in 1994 while America's civil rights movement was in the 50's. Racism is a very sensitive subject in South Africa and the whites in the country are very bold and outspoken with their racism whereas in America they are slick with it, with the exception of your POTUS of course.

    Just recently a white woman by the name of Penny Sparrow referred to the black families who visit the Durban beaches as baboons and monkeys who are trashing the country. This term monkey is still very fresh on the hearts and minds of black South Africans. While I don't condone the violence, I am not at all mad. This made a statement that racism will not be tolerated. H&M best tread lightly. This time it was vandalism next time it might be fire.

  • WiseGui

    H&M is not for the wealthy, Lets get that straight. It's low budget poorly fabricated, ill fitting clothing made for the middle to low income spectrum. That's why you find a bunch of teenagers in there.

    Secondly, Big corporates are about big profits and every dollar counts. Also, the franchise is doing better in countries outside of Europe. Europeans aren't checking for H&M, they've been there done that. Its knew to the rest of the world but they are on to the next.

    This act, as savage as it may have been executed, has sent a message to their Bored of Directors and marketing teams that blacks are not here for the racist BS in 2018.

  • Lady_Elle

    I don't buy the "they did not know!"
    The buck stops with H & M!
    Americans are likely going to not shop there. As I passed a store on Saturday I noticed several groups talking about the ad as they walked past!

  • BadAss Will

    Now you see why they call us monkeys? This is clearly something a real monkey will do. Smh

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Yeah, you are by yourself. They did this in South Africa because it's obvious their police are not as aggressive as ours in the U.S. If you even attempt to tear up a store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, they will lock up every Black person within 5 miles. Play around if you want to.

    Also, this was beyond idiotic. The majority of the workers are Black in South Africa. The majority of the owners are white. The owners will recover because they are rich. The workers, not so much.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    This hurts the majority Black employees that worked in the South African H&M's more than it does the owners. The owners, who are majority white, will recover because they are rich. The workers, not so much.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    But do you think that H&M is going to miss a sale?

    My guess is that H&M stores have already reached it's saturated point in Europe.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Her name should be Kris Kardashian.

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  • OP2

    So what! It has opened doors for more welcoming clothing stores. to move into those locations. The same dislocated workers can get back to work as soon as the next business moves in.

    -H&M will lose more than dimes because Africa is a very large population they they will no longer be able to tap into. It is known as a low-end (cheap) budget clothing store.

    The smaller population or Wealthier White folks in Europe are not their target audience. It is usually struggling urban minorities on a tight budget. -therefore, they will lose a large population which is why they tapped into the world of Blacks in South Africa.

  • OP2


  • alex

    The sarcasm of my post was lost. Next time I'll add a sarcasm tag. I know that this is a real story. My comment was a dig at the posters on the first blog post saying that black Americans are too sensitive and they are the only ones who found the monkey sweatshirt offensive. Clearly black Americans aren't the only ones upset.

  • OP2

    -some folks like that tend to look the other way if their child shows signs of being groomed or molested by the industry. smh

  • Coco_Butter

    Right now the employees are unemployed and have to find a new job.

    Protesters could have just stopped shopping there.
    I’m sure the white people would have keep the business going

  • gail jones

    I get it

  • Omandesert

    Wow! I feel sorry for the kid if his mother didn't have an issue with that H&M ad. SMH

  • Hmmm~?

    My whole issue with this is that there’s a very lengthy process for things like this. Marketing of any form has to go through several people before it’s posted publicly. The fact that no one pulled this to the side and thought “This could easily be seen as racist.” is what’s just so shocking to me. They were obviously white, and while I doubt they meant any actual harm, (white people won’t risk money to call a black boy a monkey) this is something that should’ve 100% been caught. This is why diversity is important in any setting. White people ain’t got no common sense.

  • just saying

    I'm glad they trashed it too. Black people the passive thing doesn't work, hasn't worked and all they do is laugh at us..." look at the black people whining with their signs begging us to treat them better when we did this on purpose "....anyone ever heard action speaks louder than words?

  • Malcom Flex

    can do alla that but not stay in the home with your sons?

  • sunni_daze

    So what do we call the cavemen that do the same thing when their team wins championship. The destroy property and start fires and all kinds of other mess.

  • Renee26

    They will recover just fine because there's no shortage of customer service jobs...really it's just a start for much more so they can broaden their horizons and get better jobs if they end up losing that one.

  • BadAss Will

    Stay on this topic

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    I do not condone violence & rioting.
    People bring things on themselves.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Oh, so I guess you miss when "they" act like savages after a soccer game?
    Missed those news stories.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    He is on topic.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    So, just work for people who BLATANTLY have zero respect for you. In your face.

  • sunni_daze

    Its on topic. Don't condemn one and forget the acts of others, especially when the others have been uncivilized bruts since the inception of time.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    H&M is considered a retail job, not customer service. Any who, there's a shortage of jobs (in all industries) in South Africa. Customer service and retail jobs are plentiful in the U.S., that is not the case in South Africa.

  • BadAss Will

    Bitch mind your buisness asshole

  • BadAss Will

    I don't have to address any thing you fuckin bring up. I choose to address this. Why does it matter to you? If that was the topic I would've address it so take your MONKEY ASS to another comment.

  • Indies beauty

    I don't see the point of this. What exactly does ransacking do, that our dollars don't?

  • Trace da Ace

    this was completely unnecessary...really....people always want to find a reason to tear up some shit....smdh

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    The only female dog is you.
    Small minded people resort to name calling & cursing when they are out of their league.

  • BadAss Will

    You still talking? You still breathing? Let me get the raid for you cockroaches.... side already

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Limited thinking.
    The sad part, is that you are not funny.
    You are upset because you are not in control.

  • BadAss Will

    I just started my 4 week vacation. I have my 9 month old grand daughter for a week, she loves me lol she haven't cried yet. We relaxing and chilling. No reason in life to be mad. I know you want me to bitch but sorry life to good how. Sorry you hating. Remember, you message me first. Obviously my comment to the post rubbed u the wrong way. Jealousy is a disease hope you die quick.