Bella Hadid apologized to her Middle Eastern fans via social media on Monday, June 17. The statement came after she posted a photo on her Instagram story that resulted in her being accused of racism.
Minutes after Bella, 22, posted a controversial photo on her Instagram, she was slammed for the "racist" gesture.
The photo showed the model's heeled foot up against an airport window. Airplanes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were shown in the background. Many people accused Bella of being racist because the heel of her foot was positioned towards the flags at the back of the aircrafts, which is disrespectful in Arabic culture.
Upset fans started the hashtag "#BellaHadidIsRacist," and even shamed major brands like Dior and Calvin Klein for working with the star.
“I never liked you and now I have a reason not to,” one Twitter user said. "Good luck in your career," said another.
"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 wrote in her apology.
“I am posting this to clear up a few things that have been weighing on my heart,” the brunette, who is of Palestinian descent, wrote on her IG story in both English and Arabic.
“To begin, I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage," she said. "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.”
“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," Bella continued. “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," she wrote. "To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most.”
“The photo of my shoe on my Story yesterday had NOTHING to do with politics. I promise,” she added. “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.”
“This was never the case, and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding,” Bella added. “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.”
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