Supermodel Bella Hadid has been accused of disrespecting the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in an Instagram Story, leading to the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist to trend on Twitter.
Why? Well, it all started when the star, 22, posted a photo featuring her shoe up against an airport window. In the background are airplanes from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Fans were super upset as in the photo, her foot was positioned so that she showed the sole of her foot towards the flags on the plane’s tails, which is disrespectful in Arabic culture and started the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist.
Soon realising her mistake, Gigi's younger sis wrote a heartfelt message on a new Insta Story on Monday, apologising to fans who were offended.
She wrote: "I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage," she explained. "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."
She added: "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."
Bella - who is of Dutch and Palestinian descent - finished by saying: "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. I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community."
She wrote on Twitter: