LeBron James, Diddy and other celebrities rebuke H&M for 'monkey' hoodie

  • Celebrities including LeBron James and rapper Diddy are scolding H&M for using a black child to model a sweatshirt sporting the phrase "coolest monkey in the jungle."
  • The ad has since been pulled from the British version of the Swedish-based retailer's website.
  • H&M responded by saying: "We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do."

A slew of celebrities within the past 24 hours have scolded H&M for using a black child to model a sweatshirt sporting the phrase "coolest monkey in the jungle."

The latest backlash comes from basketball star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and Canadian singer The Weeknd, who has collaborated with H&M on collections in the past.

The image of the child first appeared over the weekend on the British version of the Swedish-based retailer's website and was removed by Monday morning, a spokesperson told CNBC.

James took to Instagram to post an edited version of H&M's ad, where the child was instead wearing a crown and called "king of the world." Diddy also posted an image to his Instagram account where the child's hoodie instead reads: "coolest king in the world." (See their posts below.)

The Weeknd wrote on Twitter that he would no longer work with H&M and was "deeply offended" by the original photo.

Manchester United soccer player Romelu Lukaku also posted an edited version of the H&M ad to Instagram that said "black excellence."

"We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top," a spokesperson wrote to CNBC. "We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues."

The blunder for H&M comes right after the retailer in December reported its biggest drop in quarterly sales in at least a decade. In turn, H&M has trimmed its expansion plans and is even considering closing some locations.