Sometimes, advertisers miss the mark. What they think is a great idea ends up getting them publicity for all the wrong reasons. Like when H&M sparked controversy with their “coolest monkey in the jungle” sweatshirt.
Well, now model Bar Rafaeli is facing backlash after she appeared in an ad that has been labeled as racist and Islamophobic. The ad in question comes from Hoodies, an Israeli fashion brand. The short video opens with Rafaeli wearing a hijab while the question “Iran is here?” flashes on screen. When a song about freedom begins to play, she removes the hijab and reveals some of Hoodies’ activewear line. The ad closes with the tagline “Freedom is basic.”
Several of the comments on the company’s youtube video actually express support of the concept behind the ad. However, Rafaeli removed the video from her Instagram account. She received a flood of comments accusing her of being anti-Islam and racist. People on Twitter are also sounding off about what they feel the problem with the advertisement is.
Others are calling for action to be taken as a consequence for Bar Rafaeli’s role as the face of this campaign.
Ad depicts @BarRefaeli taking off a niqab followed by lyrics "finally freedom". This is disgusting. Expecting companies like @Cosmopolitan & @giorgioarmani to drop her, unless y'all are cool with a brand ambassador spreading messages like this. pic.twitter.com/fkHpdojOAI— Mαrωα 🥀 (@MarwaBalkar) October 30, 2018
So far, neither Hoodies nor Bar Rafaeli have commented on the controversy. Despite the online backlash, none of Rafaeli’s jobs have dropped her and it seems to be business as usual for the clothing company.
So, is this ad creating anti-Muslim sentiment? Should Bar Rafaeli face consequences for her involvement? Is the ad actually being blown out of proportion and completely harmless? Let us know what you think in the comments!