Bella Hadid did damage control after sharing a photo of her boot positioned over airplanes from Saudi Arabia and UAE, leading to a boycott over Versace and Dior. She promised the post had ‘NOTHING to do with politics.’
Bella Hadid, 22, is clearing up accusations that the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist generated on Twitter. The hashtag went viral after Bella tried to flex her footwear at the airport for her Instagram Story on June 16 — in an unfortunate coincidence, airplanes representing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ flags stood in the background of the fashion post. Her boot was directly pointed over the planes, leading Twitter users to believe the model was trying to “kick” the Middle Eastern aircrafts through the airport window. The following day, Bella took to her Instagram Story to assure fans that she was not sending a political or prejudiced message.
“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,” part of Bella’s message read, as she comes from a Palestinian background. Addressing the controversial photo itself, she later added, “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.”
Bella followed through with more apologies, and vowed to be “more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including [her] beloved Middle Eastern community.” Bella even translated the entire apology (below) in Arabic! In a follow-up tweet, she once again promised that the picture was just a big oversight: “this was an honest mistake on an early morning… never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry ..❤️.”
Leading up to Bella’s apology, Twitter users demanded luxury brands like Versace and Dior to stop working with the model. “#BellaHadidIsRacist I’m a huge customer of you @Dior & @Versace but after what Bella did, I’m not going to buy anything from you, until you stop working with her. You should choose a model who is Polite and not racist,” one such tweet read, while another person wrote, “Dear @Versace @Dior We have purchasing power worldwide and we will boycott any company that deals with this women. @bellahadid’s shameless statement of intolerance requires you to take action as soon as possible.”
However, many fans rushed to Bella’s defense after she explained her side of the story. On June 13, the runway regular was even praised for using her platform to raise awareness about the violent crisis currently happening in Sudan.