Terry Mango and Frank Odhiambo, the Kenyan parents of the child model involved in H&M race row, have reportedly moved out of their home because of the global backlash the campaign triggered as they fear it will affect their young son.
Their five-year-old son Liam was used to promote a jumper emblazoned with the words ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’, a phrase which sparked a major controversy, forcing the Swedish brand to pull down the advert and issue a public apology.
Featuring on ITV’s This Morning on Monday, Terry, who initially told critics to ‘get over it’ said she and her husband have an ‘obligation to protect’ their children.
The couple who are based in Stockholm, Sweden, said: ‘The most unfortunate thing is that my son is very young and there’s a lot that’s going to come with this and that really shakes me a little bit,’ Frank said on the show, before adding that Liam is unaware of the controversy around the picture.
‘He believes people love him for his modelling job,’ Terry added.
The parents also called on the general public to respect their privacy as a family, as they admitted that they haven’t had a ‘normal family life’ since the global backlash began.
According to the couple, they have even had to leave their home in other relief them from the controversy.
Frank said: ‘As much as people have gotten involved in this for me, it’s very important to understand that me and Terry, we have a son, we have other children in the home that we are raising and we have an obligation to protect our children.
‘To me if we had a way to take this off I would take it off today. The most unfortunate thing is that my son is very young and there’s a lot that’s going to come with this and that really shakes me a little bit.’
According to Terry, she said her son believes people love him for his modelling skills, rather than any controversy surrounding the picture itself.
She explained: ‘He’s seen the pictures and he’s seen pictures online. He believes people love him for his modelling job and that he’s cool and confident in his job.’
Celebrities including Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku, basketball player LeBron James and music mogul P Diddy are among many stars who slammed the advert. Meanwhile musicians The Weeknd and G- Eazy have since cut all ties with the retailer.