Bella Hadid has issued an apology via Twitter after a social media post over the weekend sparked outrage among her fans in the Middle East.
The model, 22, shared an image to her Instagram Stories showing the heel of her shoe up against an airport window seemingly ‘kicking’ planes that had the Saudi and UAE flags on them.
After the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist went viral, Bella tweeted a statement on Monday insisting the image she shared had ‘NOTHING to do with politics.’
‘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,’ she said.
Bella’s father is a Palestinian and she wrote that she ‘would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage.’
She went on: ‘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.’
The model concluded: ‘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.’
Apology: Bella’s father is a Palestinian and she wrote that she ‘would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage’
Mea culpa: The model concluded: ‘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’
Determined to make her point: She subsequently followed up with yet another tweet stressing that she had made ‘an honest mistake’ with her shoe photo
A little later, she followed up with another tweet which read: ‘This was an honest mistake on an early morning… never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry.’
On Saturday, Bella, along with her sister Gigi Hadid, walked the runway for Versace during the Milan Men’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 event in Italy.
The next day, she was spotted back in the US after landing at New York’s JFK Airport.
This is not the first time that Bella has been caught up in a racism row.
Back in February 2017, she shared a video on social media of her sister Gigi at a restaurant pulling a face to imitate an Asian person.
Gigi is seen sitting at a table with friends and holding up a cookie in the shape of the Buddah, and then smiling and squinting her eyes to imitate the face.
Bella subsequently deleted the clip but not before the video had spread and been shared by other accounts with social media users accusing Gigi of mocking Asians.
When Gigi announced a few months later that she would be walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to be held in Shanghai, her Instagram post was flooded with comments from people telling her she was’t welcome in China.
In November, Gigi announced two weeks before the VS Fashion Show was due to take place that she was pulling out of the lingerie extravaganza.