Gigi Hadid has apologized for her controversial video released in February where she appeared to be mocking the religious figure, Buddha. The model came under fire for her apparent racism against the Asian-origin religion — just in time for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to be held in China.
“It hurts me to hurt anyone, and I want you all to know that it was never my intent to offend anyone through my actions and I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt or felt let down by me,” the model wrote on Chinese social media website Weibo on Sept. 2.
The video showed Hadid squinting her eyes as she held up a Buddha biscuit next to her face. Bella has since deleted the video from her account.
Hadid, 22, was swarmed by comments calling her “racist” both on Instagram and Twitter, resulting in the model disabling Instagram comments.
“I have learned to be very careful of how my actions can come off or be portrayed and I’m hopeful you’ll accept my apology,” her written apology continued. “I hope to meet many of you and let you get to know me for me. I do not condone hurtful behavior and want people and fans of all backgrounds to know they are welcomed, loved and respected around me and by me.”
The model did not escape critics, however, as many pointed out that she apologized exclusively on Weibo, instead of on her other, more widely-followed social media accounts. Weibo is a microblogging site mostly popular only in China.
The model earlier announced her participation in the much-anticipated fashion show on Instagram, captioning the post with, “Forever and ever and ever a dream come true to be asked back to the VS Show!!!”
There is no additional update on the model’s appearance in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The runway event is scheduled to air on Tuesday, Nov. 28 on CBS.
By Nica Cruz