Here is a list of people who didn’t consider this racist:
The Model’s Agent
Graphic Design Department
One can also draw the conclusion that the boy’s parents were not involved in the decision making process which raises further ethical questions.
To anyone who dismisses H&M’s roll out of the shot please consider the following:
Monkey chanting has been used by football hooligans for over thirty years to discourage black players from both performing and playing the game.
Carl-Gustaf Scott writes about racism in Swedish football in the 80’s and 90’s in his book - African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration, and Integration in the Age of Globalization
He writes; “Djurgarden’s supporters for instance chanted ‘Samir Bakaou belongs in a zoo’, whereas IFK Goteborg’s fans made monkey noises shouting ‘ugh, ugh, ugh’ every time AIK’s Pascal Simpson touched the ball. In news footage taken from a match in the summer of 1988 AIK followers can be seen yelling ‘Kunta Kinte’ at Djurgarden’s Glen Myrthil”
The Guardian 19/11/2004
Tony Blair and the Spanish prime minister yesterday condemned the racist abuse of black England footballers by thousands of Spanish fans as the disgraceful scenes on Wednesday night prompted outrage in Britain and threatened to escalate into a diplomatic row. Several black England players were taunted with monkey chants and chants by large sections of the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium during England's 1-0 defeat.
BBC News 07/05/2014
Villarreal have been fined €12,000 (£9,850) by the Spanish Football Federation after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves. The Brazilian, 30, picked up the banana and took a bite as he prepared to take a corner in the La Liga match between the sides last month.
The Guardian 29/09/2016
Russia’s FC Rostov face sanction for banana-throwing in Champions League
The Mirror 21/02/2017
Everton Luiz has vowed to continue playing in Serbian football despite racist abuse bringing him to tears whilst playing for Partizan Belgrade last weekend. The Brazilian was abused during the fiery encounter with fierce rivals Rad Beograd last Sunday with what the player describes as monkey chants.
Shock advertising or Shockvertising is a type of advertising that "deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startles and offends its audience by violating norms for social values and personal ideals". It is the employment in advertising or public relations of "graphic imagery and blunt slogans to highlight" a public policy issue, goods, or services. Shock advertising is designed principally to break through the advertising “clutter” to capture attention and create buzz.
The racial slur ‘monkey’ is an ugly feature in football hooliganism across Europe including Sweden and the UK. Too many people involved in the production and publication of this photograph not to notice the reference and one can only conclude there was intent to create ‘buzz’ by dressing an innocent child with racist slogans.