After becoming the go-to partner for some of the hottest pop stars in the world over the past few years, H&M has seen two of its most popular musical ambassadors sever ties just this week in rapid succession.
Hip-hop star G-Eazy has just become the second musician to end his partnership with the Swedish retailer because of a racially insensitive image that recently ended up on the company’s website. The “Him & I” musical powerhouse announced that he would not be moving forward with a planned collaboration that was slated to appear in stores soon. On Instagram, G-Eazy shared an edited, improved version of the troublesome image along with the following statement:
Over the past months I was genuinely excited about launching my upcoming line and collaboration with @HM... Unfortunately, after seeing the disturbing image yesterday, my excitement over our global campaign quickly evaporated, and I've decided at this time our partnership needs to end.
Whether an oblivious oversight or not, it's truly sad and disturbing that in 2018, something so racially and culturally insensitive could pass by the eyes of so many (stylist, photographer, creative and marketing teams) and be deemed acceptable. I can't allow for my name and brand to be associated with a company that could let this happen. I hope that this situation will serve as the wake up call that H&M and other companies need to get on track and become racially and culturally aware, as well as more diverse at every level.
The popular hip-hop artist's response was not only appropriate, it was well-thought-out and perfectly articulated. While the photo used was certainly inexcusable, there is obviously a deeper issue at the company, and it is now clear that G-Eazy isn't interested in being involved in any way until those at the top of the mega-retailer get to the heart of what's wrong.
G-Eazy follows in the footsteps of The Weeknd, who tweeted earlier this week that he was done working with the clothier for good immediately after the racist photo was brought to his attention. Since then, H&M has apologized for the offensive oversight, but as G-Eazy points out, it’s not only about the one picture, and clearly the response wasn’t enough for him to feel comfortable working with the brand.
H&M has a storied past of working with some of the most successful musical artists, including superstars like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber, though the future of these kinds of pairings might be in jeopardy due to some seriously bad judgment made by at least a few people at the top of the brand.
Now, watch G-Eazy discuss his new album The Beautiful & Damned while mixing a delicious dirty martini.