The Weeknd, 'deeply offended' by H&M ad of black child, cuts ties with retailer

Canadian R&B star The Weeknd says he's cutting ties with H&M after being 'deeply offended' by an ad for the retailer showing a black child in a hoodie bearing the phrase 'Coolest monkey in the jungle.'

Swedish retailer apologized Monday, removed image from all channels

Toronto R&B star The Weeknd says he's cutting ties with retail giant H&M after being 'deeply offended' by an advertising image featuring a black child wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the term 'Coolest monkey in the jungle.' (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Canadian R&B star The Weeknd says he's cutting ties with H&M after being "deeply offended" by an ad for the retailer showing a black child in a hoodie bearing the phrase "Coolest monkey in the jungle."

The Toronto performer noted online he was "shocked" by the ad, which prompted him to end his partnership with the multinational company. 

The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, previously teamed up with the Swedish fast-fashion retailer to release special edition menswear collections. 

NBA star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and other artists have also responded with outrage to the image. James posted a refreshed image showing the model wearing a crown. Diddy posted an image with a sweatshirt revised to read "Coolest king in the world." 

Originally from H&M's U.K. website, the image earned social media condemnation late Sunday and on Monday; criticized as being everything from tone-deaf to shockingly ignorant to racist. Some called for a boycott of the retailer.

H&M apologized for the advertisement on Monday. As of early Monday afternoon, the hoodie remained available for sale on the retailer's U.K. website.

"This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended," an H&M spokesperson said. 

With files from The Associated Press