India, Oct 18 – Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has apologised after being criticised for modelling an “insensitive” top on a Conde Nast Traveller magazine cover.
The top has the words “migrant”, “refugee” and “outsider” crossed out while the word “traveller” stands out.
Both the actress and Conde Nast were criticised over the “privileged” message, with many pointing out that being a refugee was “not a choice”.
Conde Nast told the BBC their intention was to highlight labelling of people.
Chopra told India’s NDTV news channel “I’m really apologetic about sentiments being hurt. I have always been against labels. I am very affected and feel really horrible, but the message has been misconstrued.
“The magazine was very clear that they wanted to send a message about addressing xenophobia with labels.”
‘We are all travellers’
Conde Nast also put out a statement in which it stood by the cover and tried to clarify the intention behind the photograph.
Explaining that it believed in a “world without borders” and “had a point to make”, the statement said: “We must recognise that we are all on a journey.
Whether we are moving across oceans or just a few kilometres, or in our mind’s eye, into a completely different world, whether we are doing so due to free will or circumstance – we are all travellers.”
The magazine cover, which was tweeted out by Chopra earlier this month, almost immediately caused outrage in India, with many saying that it was inappropriate, especially in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis.
“The lack of choice in removing one’s home and hearth from the familiar to the alien is one fraught with heartbreak and the feeling of being cornered.
“Very different from picking out the next attractive destination on your bucket list, and surfing through Airbnb for that perfect place to park oneself,” read an opinionin the Huffington Post.
Social media users expressed similar views.
Chopra told the NDTV news channel that she was fully aware of the issues faced by refugees and was actually trying to send out a message to support them.
“But it got misconstrued, and I’m sorry people saw it like that and they saw it on me,” she said.