The Weeknd has announced that he will no longer be working with H&M after being “deeply offended” by an advert deemed “racist” on social media.
The Swedish retailer has apologised following the backlash over an image showing a black child modelling a hoodie that says “coolest monkey in the jungle” on the front.
The 27-year-old musician – real name Abel Tesfaye – posted a picture of the advert on his Instagram page, saying that he was “deeply offended”.
“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo,” he wrote. “I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore.”
The singer had sold merchandise through H&M and previously modelled for the retailer.
In a statement, H&M said (via Sky News): “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.”
Many people described the advert as racist on Twitter, with basketball star LeBron James also condemning it on social media and editing the image so that the little boy was wearing a crown.
He wrote: “@hm you got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo.
“I see a young king!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable force that can never be denied!
“We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!”
The company added that they agreed with The Weeknd’s reaction and would “continue the discussion” with the star and his team.