The mother of the child model at the centre of the H&M race row says she’s previously been the victim of racist abuse.
Terry Mango – whose son Liam starred in a controversial commercial that saw him wear a jumper emblazoned with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” – has waded into the debate, saying that the incident involving her son doesn’t chime with her own definition of racism.
She explained: “It is not an overreaction when it comes to racism, everybody should act differently based on their own opinions about what racism is. I know what racism is. I’ve been at the front, I’ve had racist remarks directed to me first hand.
“Even the name monkey … I’ve been called monkey before on a cruise ship and my reaction was the same as the world is reacting to me right now. But to put the T-shirt and the word monkey with the word racism, maybe that is not my way of looking at it.”
H&M withdrew the controversial ad from its website following a string of complaints from consumers and celebrities, such as The Weeknd, who announced he was ending his relationship with the fashion brand.
Alongside a picture of the controversial commercial, The Weeknd – who has a clothing line with the retailer – wrote on Twitter: “woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. i’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore… (sic)”
However, Terry has suggested that the public has looked into the commercial too deeply.
Speaking to ITV’s ‘This Morning’, she shared: “I’m just looking at Liam, a black young boy modelling a T-shirt that has the word monkey on it. Eveyone should respect different opinions on racism.”