[VIDEO] Parents of Kenyan boy moved from home after international backlash for defending racist ad

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The Kenyan parents of a boy who modeled in an H&M ad have had to move out their home after facing international backlash for defending the company.

Terry Mango and Frank Odhiambo who are the parents of the model Liam Mango, say they’ve had to move out of their home in Stockholm, Sweden because they can no longer live a “normal family life.”

The Kenyan couple is still insisting they do not understand what the fuss is all about and that they never gave the hoodie any thought until it went viral. They said that though they understand the reactions to the hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,” they did not see it as racist.

“I wouldn’t see such a connection to anything other than my son modelling a shirt,” Terry said during a live broadcast on ITV’s “This Morning” in London.

“Until the controversy now, with the whole furore that is going on, then you kind of look back and wonder if you had noticed it, what would be our, or my, initial response to it.”

Ms Mango said that despite international uproar over the monkey hoodie, young Liam doesn’t really understand the fuss either.

“He’s aware he’s a superstar and people love him,” Terry said.

“I wouldn’t see such a connection to anything other than my son modelling a shirt,” Terry said during a live broadcast on ITV’s “This Morning” in London.

“Until the controversy now, with the whole furore that is going on, then you kind of look back and wonder if you had noticed it, what would be our, or my, initial response to it.”

She however says that those who belive the ad was racist are not entirely wrong.

“It is not an overreaction when it comes to racism, everyone should act differently based on their opinions of what racism is,” she said.

“To put the T-shirt and the word ‘monkey’ with racism, maybe that is not my way of looking at it,” Terry added. “I’m just looking at Liam, a black young boy, modeling a T-shirt that has the word ‘monkey’ on it.”

“I know what racism is, I’ve had racist remarks directed at me,” she added. “I’ve been called a monkey before on a cruise ship. My reaction was the same as the world’s [to the H&M hoodie].”

Terry Mango’s first response to the controversy was to take to social media to push back against critics.

[I] am the mum and this is one of [the] hundreds of outfits my son has modeled,” she wrote in a comment on Instagram. “Stop crying wolf all the time.”

In another comment on Facebook, she wrote, “that’s my son. [I have] been to all the photoshoots and this was not an exception.”

After someone on Facebook asked if she could understand why people were upset over her son wearing a monkey hoodie, the Sweden-based mother said she doesn’t get all the fuss.

“I really don’t understand but not coz am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry,” she wrote.

Mango and Odhimbo said since the furore broke out, they had to move to protect their family.

“As much as people have gotten involved in this, for me it’s very important that people understand that me and Teresa, we have a son, we have other children in the home that we are raising, and we have an obligation to protect our children,” Odhiambo said.

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