(Undated) — Several H&M stores in South Africa are temporarily closed after protests over a racial advertisement on the company’s website. Local news outlets reported that protesters from the Economic Freedom Fighters reportedly trashed six locations around Johannesburg and Cape Town Saturday over a photo of a young black boy wearing a hoodie that read, “coolest monkey in the jungle.” The image first sparked outrage on social media last week, prompting the company to take it down and issue a formal apology. Videos posted online show protesters kicking over racks of clothing and mannequins and trashing displays, and also chanting inside the stores and around shopping complexes while wielding signs.
The leader of EFF said, “we are not going to allow anyone to use the colour of our skin to humiliate us, to exclude us,” and that the group makes “no apology” for the destruction. H&M said the closures came “out of concern for the safety of our employees and customers.” No word yet on when the stores will re-open.
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