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The mother of the young black model who was photographed for H&M wearing a “racist” hoodie reading, “Coolest monkey in the word,” has spoken out about the controversy.
Terry Mango, who claims she is the model’s mom and has posted several photos of the boy on Instagram, stated that she didn’t understand the outrage that consumed the internet on Monday, and believed people were overreacting.
“Get over it,” she wrote in a Facebook post when followers asked for her opinion on the photo and the ensuing backlash. “Stop crying wolf all the time,” she added, taking aim at those high-profile figures like LeBron James, Niecy Nash, Questlove, Diddy and more who condemned H&M for dressing the young boy in the offending hoodie.
Since the H&M image began circulating on the internet earlier this week, both The Weeknd and G-Eazy have stated that they are canceling their collaborations with the fast-fashion retailer. The company has since removed the sweatshirt from its website, adding that the remaining product would be recycled. H&M then issued an apology in which it acknowledged that “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.”
Mango, who is from Nairobi and now lives in Stockholm, according to her Facebook profile, stated that she didn’t understand the source of the offense. “I really don’t understand but not [because I] am choosing not to,” she wrote. “It’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
That being said, Mango agreed that “everyone is entitled to their opinion about this,” even if she happened to disagree.
Mango added that she was present at every photo shoot, and — like any parent — is proud of her son’s work, posting photos of him regularly, including montages of the photoshopped versions posted by the likes of Diddy and James. Her Instagram handle is now @kingofthejungle81, a reference to the edited images.
As for her son, he seems to be holding up just fine. Mango shared a photo of him grinning ear-to-ear early Thursday in celebration of his 5th birthday.
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Jeriana San Juan