An advertisement went south after Israeli model Bar Refaeli faced criticism for removing her hijab in a bid to promote ‘freedom.’ An advertisement, starring Refaeli released on October 29 by an Israeli clothing company Hoodie, showed the model with her face covered by a hijab and a niqab. It was accompanied by a Hebrew caption that read ‘Is this Iran?’ A few seconds into the ad, she removes the hijab to the tune of a song that goes, “It’s all about freedom.” The campaign’s tagline says, “Freedom is basic.”
Needless to say, the ad immediately garnered criticism on social media and many called out to partner organisations to drop Refaeli. Speaking to Buzzfeed, one woman said, “I sat there telling myself MAYBE there’s a different message I’m not getting from this. I told myself there is NO WAY that someone so famous would do something so blatantly Islamophobia, but I found no justification.”
Following the backlash, Refaeli and Hoodies reportedly removed the advert from social media, and also deleted a Facebook page linked to Hoodies. But this is the internet and nothing can be really removed.
Responding to the outrage, Hoodies stated, “…We chose to shine a spotlight on public figures that are an inspiration to Israeli society. If we offended anyone, we are sorry. We believe that with the release of the rest of the campaign the positive nature of our agenda will be illuminated.”