According to fans, the supermodel disrespected her Arabic heritage.

By Alicia Brunker
Jun 18, 2019 @ 7:30 am

Bella Hadid is facing backlash for a controversial Instagram Story that some fans say disrespected the Middle East. 

On Sunday, the supermodel, who is half Dutch, half Palestinian, posted a photo in the airport terminal with her heeled boot on the window, appearing to kick the tails of planes painted in the colors of the UAE and Saudi Arabian flags.

Social media dragged Hadid for insulting the Arabic countries, and, by Monday morning, the hashtag #BellaHadidIsRacist went viral. Users even called for big brands, such as Calvin Klein and Dior, to stop working with her. And now, Hadid is clearing the air with a heartfelt apology. 

"I am posting this to clear up a few things that have been weighing on my heart,” Hadid tweeted in English and Arabic on 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.”

She continued: “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.”

Hadid went on to express her regret for potentially disappointing her father and ancestors with her Instagram post. “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 wrote. “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.”

She concluded her message to fans with a "sincere" apology. "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 said. "This was never the case, and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding."

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"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."

Bella immediately followed up with an abbreviated version of her original apology, saying: "This was an honest mistake on an early morning... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry." Jury's still out on if fans have forgiven her.

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