Arts&Culture

H&M stores trashed by anti-racism group over 'monkey' ad (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

H&M stores trashed by anti-racism group over 'monkey' ad (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Video footage showed activists trashing displays, kicking over clothes rails and shoving mannequins.

A socialist group known as the Economic Freedom Fighters destroyed an H&M store in a mall in South Africa, after the clothing company marketed and sold what some say is a racist sweatshirt.

"Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets", Dlamini said.

The party's leader, Julius Malema, said in a speech on Saturday that the EFF "make no apology" for their actions in trashing the stores, and that targeting them was "just the beginning".

The EFF has also been involved in protests at other H&M stores across South Africa.

No injuries have been reported and no arrests were made.

Terry Mango, the mother of the five year-old featured in the ad, who is originally from Kenya, defended H&M and told its critics to "get over it", later saying she had suffered online abuse for saying so. "Black people." He added that H&M, at the end of the day, will remain a billion-dollar corporation.

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H&M issued a statement Monday: "W$3 e apologize to anyone this may have offended".

Police also cautioned members of the public during the protest to avoid the mall even though they maintained the situation were "under control".

RT.com has reached out to H&M in South Africa for comment.

Innocent shoppers and bystanders were forced to flee as chanting gangs wearing uniforms of the country's radical opposition party swept through at H&M stores across the city, including Africa's flagship store in the up-market suburb of Sandton.

Canadian musician, The Weeknd, cut ties with the Stockholm-based company amid the controversy, tweeting that he "Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo".

"We strongly believe that racism and bias in any shape or form, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable".

A H&M spokesman said: "We understand that many people are upset about the image of the children's hoodie".