Supermodel Bella Hadid faced a wave of internet backlash after she posted an Instagram photo that some felt disrespected the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Now, she’s apologizing for it.
Here’s what happened: On Sunday, Hadid posted a photo on her Instagram Story of her foot facing a trio of airplanes, one being a UAE plane and the other a Saudi plane. From the angle of the photo, some felt it looked like she was kicking the flags that are painted on the planes’ tails.
Twitter users said they were insulted. Soon enough the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist starting trending.
Amid all the backlash, Hadid posted a lengthy response on Twitter and her Instagram apologizing for her post, which she described as a mistake.
Her apology: “I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage,” Hadid pleaded. “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.”
“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,” she added.
In another tweet she added: “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 was born in Washington, DC. Her father is Palestinian and her mother is Dutch.