Supermodel Gigi Hadid has found herself at the center of the internet’s attention once again ― but people aren’t so adoring this time around.
The 21-year-old model is being accused of acting racist after a video surfaced over the weekend that showed her appearing to mock Asian people.
In a now-deleted video shared over the weekend by her younger sister Bella, Gigi Hadid laughs and squints her eyes while holding up a cookie that appears to have the face of a samurai or a Buddha.
Bella Hadid scrubbed the video from her Instagram account, but Twitter user zaynzayns, a fan account for Gigi Hadid’s boyfriend, singer Zayn Malik, reposted it. It’s not clear what Hadid was trying to achieve with her brief expression, but many people were quick to deem it as racist against Asian people. Many people found it especially insensitive because Malik is part Asian: The former One Direction star’s father is British Pakistani.
Fans of Hadid went on zaynzayns’ Twitter account to defend the model, saying that she was only making fun of the cookie. They also pointed out the possibility that Hadid may not have known the cookie looked like an Asian person.
Others quickly snapped back, reminding people why that type of squinting could be perceived as offensive.
Neither of the Hadid sisters addressed the video’s criticism on social media. Gigi Hadid’s representatives did not return The Huffington Post’s request for comment.
Ironically, Bella Hadid’s video and its subsequent backlash surfaced during the same weekend Vogue China released its March cover featuring Gigi Hadid.