NEWS
16/01/2018 08:47 SAST | Updated 16/01/2018 08:47 SAST

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Says H&M Needs To Undergo 'Anti-Racism And Diversity Training'

'There needs to be a change of attitude within the company around issues related to race.'

WIKUS DE WET via Getty Images
(Photo credit should read WIKUS DE WET/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has requested a meeting with H&M to get an understanding about how it's racist advert involving a child could have been approved by the company's marketing and management team.

It is of serious concern that your company published the advert without considering the historical context of how the word and image of a "monkey" has been used to racially demean black people for generations.Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

The foundation wrote a letter H&M's local and global headquarters saying: ""It is of serious concern that your company published the advert without considering the historical context of how the word and image of a 'monkey' has been used to racially demean black people for generations."

H&M

This is not the first time that H&M has landed in hot water. In 2015, a social media user blasted the company for not featuring black models following the opening of their stores in South Africa.

Read: South Africans Divided Over EFF Violence At H&M

"These two incidents are perhaps indicative of the type of ignorance that continues to prevail around issues related to race, perhaps not only at H&M, but in the broader advertising sector and in society in general," said the foundation's executive-director, Neeshan Balton.

H&M has subsequently agreed to meeting with the foundation, which has insisted that it undergo 'compulsory anti-racism and diversity training'.

Read: H&M Reputation Is 'Damaged' -- Brand Strategist

"We would also like to communicate to them why they have a responsibility to do more to ensure that the company understands the anger that the racist advert has generated," said Balton.

"We intend expressing why it is imperative that H&M's directors, management and its marketing division, both globally and locally, undergo compulsory anti-racism and diversity training, so that there can be a change of attitude within the company around issues related to race."