G-Eazy Ends Partnership With H&M: Excitement ‘Evaporated’ After Hoodie Backlash

“We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image,” H&M tells TheWrap

Last Updated: January 10, 2018 @ 9:28 AM

Clothing store H&M has lost another celebrity partnership after receiving backlash for an ad featuring a black child wearing a hooded sweatshirt that read, “Coolest monkey in the jungle.”

Rapper G-Eazy said on Instagram Tuesday that he is ending is partnership with the global chain, adding that his “excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated” after seeing the “disturbing image.”

“Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM,” G-Eazy’s Instagram post said. “Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end.”

He said it did not matter whether or not the image was an oversight. “It’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable,” he said.

Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM… Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable. I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen. I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.

A post shared by G-Eazy (@g_eazy) on

“I can’t allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen,” he finished. “I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.”

A rep for H&M provided a response to TheWrap on Wednesday, saying the brand’s leadership “completely understand and agree with” G-Eazy’s choice to end his partnership. “We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image,” the statement said. “We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable. We completely understand the criticism and we agree with it. We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment from sale. We are now investigating internally to avoid this happening again. We will continue the discussion with G-Eazy and his team separately.”

R&B singer The Weeknd, who has an H&M collection, said Monday that he was “deeply offended” by the image, and would no longer work with the clothing brand.

H&M has apologized twice for what the company has called an accident.

“H&M issues unequivocal apology for poorly judged product and image to all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“H&M is fully committed to playing its part in addressing society’s issues and problems, whether it’s diversity, working conditions or environmental protection – and many others,” Tuesday’s statement continued. “Our standards are high and we feel that we have made real progress over the years in playing our part in promoting diversity and inclusion. But we clearly haven’t come far enough.”

“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” H&M said in a prior statement Monday. “Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.”

See H&M’s full apology below.

H&M issues unequivocal apology for poorly judged product and image

To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics.

We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children’s sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism.

Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.

H&M is fully committed to playing its part in addressing society’s issues and problems, whether it’s diversity, working conditions or environmental protection – and many others. Our standards are high and we feel that we have made real progress over the years in playing our part in promoting diversity and inclusion. But we clearly haven’t come far enough.

We agree with all the criticism that this has generated – we have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists. We appreciate the support of those who have seen that our product and promotion were not intended to cause offence but, as a global brand, we have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities – and we have not lived up to this responsibility this time.

This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused.

We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled.

We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future.

Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda.

Please accept our humble apologies.”

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