Updated on September 5, 2017 at 12PM EST:
Amid accusations of racism for a video of her slanting her eyes to mimic a Buddha statue, Gigi Hadid has apologized. The apology follows recent backlash from Chinese fans, who called for China to bar the 22-year-old model from the country after she announced that she would be walking in the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai in November.
The model issued her apology on the Chinese social media site, Weibo, last week. In her apology, Hadid expressed her “hurt” to see the backlash and admitted that she learned from her mistake and will be more conscious of her actions moving forward.
“It hurts me to hurt anyone, and I want you all to know that it was never my intent to offend anyone through my actions and I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt or felt let down by me,” she wrote. “I have the utmost respect and love for the people of China and cherish the incredible memories I have made while visiting in the past. I have learned to be very careful of how my actions can come off or be portrayed and I’m hopeful you’ll accept my apology. I hope to meet many of you and let you get to know me for me. I do not condone hurtful behavior and want people and fans of all backgrounds to know they are welcomed, loved and respected around me and by me,’ she concluded.”
However, Hadid’s apology didn’t go over well with fans, who accused her of trying to mask her wrongdoings by not posting the apology on her social media and sharing it only to Weibo, a site primarily used in China. Hadid was also criticized for leaving out other Asian countries in her apology by targeting only Chinese fans by using Weibo.
Original story published on August 30, 2017 at 5PM EST:
After speculation that she might’ve been bumped from the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Gigi Hadid announced on Monday that she would be returning to the runway for the brand’s lingerie show in Shanghai, China. However, for some people who accused the 22-year-old model of racism, the announcement wasn’t good news at all.
In February, the supermodel came under fire after her younger sister, Bella Hadid, posted a video of Gigi slanting her eyes to mimic a Buddha statue. The video, which has since been taken down, was immediately slammed by critics who accused Hadid of racism toward Asian people.
That’s why some critics were not happy when Hadid announced in an Instagram video that she would be heading to the Asian country for Victoria’s Secret’s annual runway show. After her announcement, Hadid’s social media mentions were flooded with people telling her that she is not welcome in China.
The pushback was apparently so intense that it prompted Hadid to disable the comments on the Instagram post announcing her return to Victoria’s Secret. Hadid nor Victoria’s Secret have commented on the controversy. However, if Hadid wants a smooth ride to the show’s November 28 air date, she’s going to have prove to fans one way or another that she’s learned her lesson.