The parents of the child model at the centre of the H&M race row have admitted their fears over how it will affect their young son and reveals they’ve moved out of their home because of the global backlash triggered by the campaign.
Terry Mango, of Stockholm, Sweden, and her partner Frank Odhiambo, on Monday, January 15th featured live on ITV’s This Morning and spoke about the outrage that greeted an image of their five-year-old son Liam wearing an H&M jumper emblazoned with the phrase ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’.
The mom, Terry who initially raised eyebrows when she said critics should ‘get over it’ still stands by her original argument and insisted that people should respect the fact she does not believe the image is racist.
She said: ‘I know what racism is. I have had racist remarks directed to me firsthand, even with the name monkey, I’ve been called a monkey before, and my reaction was the same is the world is reacting to me right now.
‘To put a t-shirt and the word monkey with racism… maybe that is not my way of looking at it, I’m just looking at… Liam, a black, young boy modelling a t-shirt with the world monkey on it. Everybody should respect different opinions based on racism.’
Dad, Frank said they have an ‘obligation to protect’ their children.
‘The most unfortunate thing is that my son is very young and there’s a lot that’s going to come with this and that really shakes me a little bit,’ Frank said on the show, before adding that Liam is unaware of the controversy around the picture”. He said.
‘As much as people have gotten involved in this for me, it’s very important to understand that me and Terry, we have a son, we have other children in the home that we are raising and we have an obligation to protect our children”. He added.
Of course, not everyone agreed that the writing on the hoodie is racist. Those who doubted the brand was being derogatory admitted there should have been more aware of how the image could be perceived.
H&M who apologised via their different platforms also took to Instagram to express further apology, and 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.’
Celebrities including Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku, basketball player LeBron James and music mogul P Diddy among many others slammed the viral advert. Famous musicians The Weeknd and G- Eazy who are brand ambassadors for HM said they’ll be cutting ties with the company.
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