Bella Hadid is apologizing after she faced backlash for an Instagram photo that many felt disrespected the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
On Sunday, the supermodel, whose father is Palestinian-American, posted a photo on her Instagram story of her foot facing airplanes, one of which was a UAE plane and the other was a Saudi plane.
Some fans felt that the photo looked like she was kicking the flags that are painted on the planes.
Many people took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the photo and shortly after the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist began to trend.
People were also using the hashtag to call for brands to stop working with Hadid, such as Dior.
Amid the backlash, Hadid posted a lengthy apology on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, apologizing for her post.
“I am posting this to clear up a few things that have been weighing on my heart,” Hadid wrote Monday. “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. 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.”
“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.”
The 22-year-old model continued: “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 photo of my shoe on my Story yesterday had NOTHING to do with politics. I promise,” Hadid said. “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. I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people.”
Hadid sent “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 wrote to her fans. “I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community. Thank you for taking the time. I love every single one of you.”
She sent a follow-up tweet, writing, “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’s sister, Gigi ,24, faced criticism in March 2017 when she landed the cover of the very first issue of Arabia.
The model is part Palestinian, however, many people were unhappy with the photo shoot and began to call her out for appropriation.