LONDON -- Canadian pop star the Weeknd says he's distancing himself from H&M after it was revealed the clothing giant had released an advertising image of a young black model in a sweatshirt with the words "Coolest monkey in the jungle."
The brand removed the image and apologized, but kept in place other designs modeled by white children.
Toronto native the Weeknd tweeted he was "shocked and embarrassed" and "deeply offended" and would no longer work with the clothing brand.
U.K. Labour Party lawmaker Kate Osamor tweeted that she was "totally shocked, dismayed to say the very least" by the image and, addressing H&M, asked "do you think this imagery is an appropriate representation of a young black boy?"
The retailer said Monday that the "image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we sincerely apologize to anyone this may have offended."
The Weeknd first announced in November 2016 that he would be handpicking items for a spring 2017 clothing line bearing his name. He later released a fall line with clothing including jackets, sweatshirts and hoodies.
NBA star LeBron James, rapper Diddy and other artists have also responded with outrage.
James posted a refreshed image showing the model wearing a crown. Diddy posted an image with a sweatshirt revised to read "Coolest king in the world."