G-Eazy Ends Partnership With H&M in Response to Viral 'Monkey' Image

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“Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end.”

G-Eazy announced Tuesday that he is terminating his partnership with H&M ahead of his upcoming line with the clothing company.

The news comes in response to H&M receiving heavy backlash after a photo went viral of a black boy modeling a hoodie that reads “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” The Weeknd also broke off his relationship with the company after seeing the photo, and LeBron James, Questlove and Diddy are among the celebrities who have condemned the fast fashion company's judgment.

G-Eazy posted on Instagram a drawing of the boy wearing the hoodie, but this time with a crown over his head and “Coolest King in the World” written across his chest.

“Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with H&M,” the rapper wrote. “Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I’ve decided at this time our partnership needs to end.”

“Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it’s truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable,” he continued.

In the days following the controversy, H&M has issued multiple apologies. On Tuesday, the company issued an extended apology on its website that reads, "We agree with all the criticism that this has generated — we have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists."

The Swedish retailer continued, "This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused." H&M added that the garment is no longer for sale, and that remaining units will be recycled. "Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society, In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda."

G-Eazy's collaboration with H&M was expected to launch March 1. 

Read his full post below.

 

Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM... Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end. Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable. I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen. I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.

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A version of this article first appeared on Billboard.com.