Dior removed visuals of the model in malls

The controversy surrounding Palestinian-American supermodel, Bella Hadid is showing no sign of slowing down. Last week, the 22-year-old  faced internet backlash after she posted a picture on her Instagram story, that some felt disrespected the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday, while traveling, Bella took a story of her foot facing three airplanes, one being a UAE plane and the other a Saudi plane. From the angle that the picture was taken, some felt like the model was kicking the flags that were painted on the planes’ tails. Arab users felt insulted by the post, and soon enough, the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist starting trending. After noticing the reacting to her post, the model posted a lengthy apology on Twitter and her Instagram, describing the photo as a mistake.

However, regardless of her apology, the scandal did not blow over. Right after her comments, GCC users took to Twitter to voice their disappointment and even reached out to malls and brands to ask them to stop supporting the model. In response to the backlash, all campaign shots of Bella Hadid in Dior stores across the Gulf region have been pulled down, According to Gulf News. “For appeasement, Parfums Christian Dior has removed its visuals of Bella Hadid in the GCC,” the publication was told.

Not only that, but Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, two the biggest malls in the UAE responded to the pour of complaints on social media regarding the issue. Banat Zayed, a twitter account with more than 149 thousand followers tweeted the malls saying: “To whome it may concern in @TheDubaiMall @MallofEmirates can you please remove #BellaHadidIsRacis photos and posters from your mall, neither Emirati people nor our Saudi friends want to see her face in our favorite malls We don’t want her to ever get invited to UAE ever again.”

The Dubai Mall acknowledged her complaint, writing back: “We ensure that our nation and region’s cultural sensitivities are respected. We have brought the matter to the attention of the retailers concerned to take appropriate steps.”

Ever since her apology, Bella has been radio silent on social media, not posting anything in any of her account. Moreover, the rest of her family, including older sister Gigi have also been tight-lipped in regards to the controversy. However, today, the model’s father, real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid broke his silence on the issue. In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, the father-of-five said: “Bella has been targeted by jealous individuals and trolls who wish to destroy her career. Arabs don’t do that to their own. She is a proud Arab and a proud Muslim. There are many people with their own agendas, mostly out of jealousy for her success, that are trying to bring her down. 95 percent of the backlash on social media is coming from paid trolls – just open any of these accounts and most of them are fake.”


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“Do you really think she was walking around the airport and trying to find those two exact airplanes right next to each other to take an intentional picture like that?” he continued. “She can’t even walk in the mall without thousands of fans following her around. She was tired, waiting for her flight in the airline lounge and just took a picture. No one in our family would ever disrespect any Arab country, not Saudi Arabia, not the UAE and not anyone from the GCC.”

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