Supermodel Gigi Hadid apologizes to China

A video showing her squinting her eyes at a Buddha-shaped cookie infuriated Asians last February

Gigi Hadid at a Tommy Hilfiger fashion show earlier in 2017. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – United States supermodel Gigi Hadid apologized to China on her Weibo account for a video in which she grimaced as if mocking Asians, provoking accusations of racism.

The original posting drew protests from Chinese netizens, who told her she would not be welcome at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show planned for Shanghai in late November.

The video, posted by Gigi’s supermodel sister Bella Hadid, 20, in February, showed her squinting her eyes while holding up a cookie shaped like a Buddha.

Her statement appearing on Weibo last Friday in both Chinese and English appeared to be her first apology for the incident.

“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,” Gigi Hadid wrote.

She went on to express her “utmost respect and love for the people of China” and to say she did “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.”

However, critics still blasted the 22-year-old daughter of a Palestinian-American real estate developer and a Dutch model for trying to avoid international attention outside China by only posting her apology on Chinese social media.

Netizens also said she should not just be addressing Chinese but apologize to all Asians, since she had mocked all of them.