LONDON — Hijab Model Amena Khan has pulled out of a campaign with L’Oréal Paris after the beauty giant discovered anti-Semitic comments she made on Twitter in 2014. The comments, voiced during the Israel-Gaza conflict, have since been deleted from her profile.
“We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Kahn, who was featured in a U.K. advertising campaign,” said a L’Oréal spokeswoman. “We appreciate that Amena has since apologized for the content of these tweets and the offense they have caused. L’Oréal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”
Khan was the first model to don a hijab in a mainstream advertisement for the company, and is among the diverse range of men and women who are featured in its new Elvive multimedia campaign.
Khan took to Instagram on Monday and posted an apology: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt that they have caused. Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. I have chosen to delete them, as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for. I recently took part in the campaign which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity. With deep regret I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”
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This isn’t the first time that controversial or offensive social media statements have affected L’Oréal Paris models. Last September, the beauty brand ended its contract with Munroe Bergdorf, L’Oréal Paris’ first transgender model, who had been tapped as a “face of modern diversity.” She was among the five faces of the #allworthit U.K. campaign to showcase five shades of the brand’s True Match foundation. She was asked to leave after posting a rant on Facebook that was related to the protest marches in Charlottesville.