Bella Hadid has been forced to apologise after she posted a “racist” picture of what appeared to be her kicking planes bearing Saudi and United Arab Emirates flags.
The model, 22, posted the snap to her Instagram story from an airport, with her leg up in the air in front of a viewing area window, The Sun reported.
But many social media users have attacked Hadid for “kicking” the planes and started the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist.
Many have pointed out in some cultures, the bottoms of shoes or feet is considered deeply offensive.
And the Saudi flag, which is on one of the planes behind Hadid’s foot, is considered especially sacred as it contains an inscription of the holy Islamic creed.
Saudi Arabia does not allow the flag to be printed on clothing or other common items and even protested an official football planned for the 2002 FIFA World Cup that would bear the flags of participating nations.
Bella Hadid has been forced to apologise after being accused of racism. Picture: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The offending photo. Picture: @bellahadidSource:Instagram
Hadid, whose father is Palestinian and mother is Dutch, recently walked in the Milan Men’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 Versace runway show and was pictured arriving at JFK airport in New York on Sunday.
She insisted there was nothing political about her post, posting a lengthy apology in English and Arabic on her Instagram story.
“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,” Hadid said.
“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…
The supermodel posted an apology on Instagram. Picture: @bellahadidSource:Instagram
The apology continues. Picture: @bellahadidSource:Instagram
“Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta (grandmother) and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most.”
The model added she “would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful and powerful heritage”.
“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.”
She also posted on Twitter: “This was an honest mistake on an early morning… never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry.”
Hadid has Palestinian and Dutch heritage. Picture: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for LuisaViaRomaSource:Getty Images
On the runway for Versace’s spring/summer 2020 fashion collection in Milan this week. Picture: Miguel Medina/AFPSource:AFP
Not everyone was willing to accept Hadid’s apology.
“Don’t play with us again sweetie,” someone replied on Twitter.
“We don’t care if you did it by mistake or not but you are famous. You should to be more carefully (sic).”
Another Twitter user wrote: “It’s such a funny thing how her family defend her like we’re all are bullies when she is actually being racist and insulting KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) & UAE in public using the fact that she’s famous shame on you Bella!!”
Alanfal tweeted: “Bella Hadid you are a Palestinian giving up your country and your humanity first for the dollar, so stop spreading hatred by insulting Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.
Bella with sister Gigi in New York City in April. Picture: @gabriellak_j/InstagramSource:Instagram
And Lama wrote: “It’s your second mistake & second apology! If you really thinks that what have you did is wrong why you did it again?
“I’m sure you apologise to because Dior deleted their last posts of you, and you’re afraid of more losses. Poor Bella!”
This isn’t the first time Hadid, who is the younger sister of fellow supermodel Gigi, has landed in hot water for her behaviour.
Recently Calvin Klein was forced to apologise to the LGBT community for “queer baiting” when it created an ad featuring Bella Hadid kissing a female robot.
Hadid was also accused of racism last year for saying the N-word while singing along to a Lil Wayne song at the Coachella Festival.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
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