Critics are accusing the model of intentionally disrespecting the Gulf countries, but Hadid says it is "an honest mistake"
Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid has apologised to fans who were offended by an Instagram story she posted yesterday, where her shoe is held up against an airport window that overlooks a row of airlines from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Critics argued that the position of Hadid’s foot towards the airplanes’ country flags was disrespectful, and began the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist. Some accused her of intentionally disrespecting the two countries, and went as far as asking brands like Dior and Calvin Klein to stop working with the model.
However, the 22-year-old posted apologies in English and Arabic on her social media accounts, claiming the positioning of her foot had “nothing to do with politics” and that the story was “an honest mistake on an early morning”.
Hadid said, “The photo of my shoe on my story yesterday had nothing to do with politics. I promise. I never noticed the planes in the background and that is the truth. I would never mean to disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries. I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people.
I want to send a sincere apology to those who ever thought I would put blame on them, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE… This was never the case, and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding. I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community. Thank you for taking the time. I love every single one of you.”
The model added that she has always tried to stand up for what is right in the Middle East, referring to her social media posts regarding the Palestinian Israeli-conflict, as well as the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
“I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful and powerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world,” she said.
this was an honest mistake on an early morning... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry ..— Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) June 17, 2019
“Not only do I have so much respect from the bottom of my heart, I have always tried to stand up for what I feel is right, especially regarding the great Middle East. I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries… Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most,” Hadid added.
The model is the youngest daughter of Palestinian-American real estate tycoon Mohamed Hadid and former dutch model Yolanda Hadid.