Fashion designer turned Gigi Hadid into an 'illegal alien' for a campaign and people are furious
The subject of immigration is one of hot debate in the USA at the moment, as President Donald Trump has come under fire for separating thousands of children from their families after they attempted to cross the border "illegally". While one side of the debate sees no issue with keeping kids in cages as a punishment for their parents' attempts to seek refuge, asylum, or - quite simply - a better way of life, others have been calling for an end to such brutal treatment of so-called "illegal aliens".
However, not everyone has been able to get that message across as clearly as they'd hoped.
Fashion designer Jeremy Scott made a rather awkward faux pas yesterday while attempting to show his support for immigrants to America in a new campaign with Gigi Hadid. In a post on Instagram, the 42-year-old shared an image of a bizarrely blue Hadid with the caption, "THE ONLY THING ILLEGAL ABOUT THIS ALIEN IS HOW GOOD SHE LOOKS !"
Given the severity of the circumstances under which actual "illegal aliens" are being detained, Scott's caption for the picture seemed incredibly blase. Some felt that his words undermined the experiences of people who are currently suffering because of their immigration status, and several people called him out in the comments as a result.
"That caption is disgusting," commented one person. "You’re profiting on the suffering of people escaping persecution, poverty, and death."
"I don’t know why you thought that caption was cute but reconsider forreal," said another.
Scott eventually responded to the backlash by changing the caption to:
"THE ENTIRE CONCEPT OF MY AD CAMPAIGN WAS TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE US ADMINISTRATION’S HARSH STANCE TOWARDS ‘ILLEGAL ALIENS’. I PAINTED THE MODELS IN MY SHOW AND THIS CAMPAIGN AS A WAY TO BRING ATTENTION TO THIS AND DISCUSS WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ‘ALIEN’ ARE THEY ORANGE BLUE YELLOW GREEN ? NO THEY ARE OUR FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, CO WORKERS, RELATIVES AND PEOPLE WE LOVE."
However, that was considered a weak excuse by many.
"You want to start a discussion?" wrote Insta user @zestylemur. "Stop painting the same models blue and calling it revolutionary. Actually, change the fashion game by hiring models that need to be represented. Get out in the street and do something worthwhile. Until then, you’re just another white man making money off the suffering of real people."
Still, there were some fans who only had good things to say about the project.
"This is art people!An idea becomes creation.Respect it!" said one person. "Art comes in all kinds of shapes and formes, [stop] spitting on every talented artist. What’s wrong with u people, she is gorgeous [look] at her."
Another chimed in: "I’ve never understood how a human being can be called 'illegal' Love the campaign. It’s perfect."
Regardless of Scott's intended message with the campaign, it's safe to say that he probably should have worded his intentions better. Rallying support for immigrants is an admirable cause, of course; but trying to do so by painting Gigi Hadid blue? Maybe not the best idea.