The mother of the boy who modeled H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweatshirt slammed celebrity and social media critics for “crying wolf” and told them to “get over it,” reports said on Thursday.
Terry Mango, who said she was the “mum” of the model in a series of now-deleted Facebook posts, said she doesn’t believe the ad was racially insensitive.
The ad prompted celebrities including The Weeknd and rapper G-Eazy to end their partnerships with the clothing line.
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled,” Mango wrote, according to screenshots of the messages. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here… get over it.”
“If I bought that jumper and put it on him and posted it on my pages, would that make me racist? I get pples opinion, but they are not mine,” she said.
She added, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this…I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.”
The mother said she was at the photo shoot when her son modeled the sweatshirt.
According to her Facebook page, Mango lives in Stockholm, Sweden, but is originally from Nairobi, Kenya. Her page also includes photos of her son posted in December, and when he was a baby.
H&M issued an apology on Monday saying they were “deeply sorry” about the ad and removed it from all its platforms. The sweatshirt was also pulled from store shelves and will be recycled, the company said.
The store also sent a second apology for using a black child to model their “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweatshirt on their UK website.
“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.
"We appreciate the support of those who have seen that our product and promotion were not intended to cause offence but, as a global brand, we have a responsibility to be aware,” wrote H&M in a statement to Fox News.