L’Oreal model and British beauty blogger Amena Khan has decided to leave a high-profile advertising campaign after about just one week once tweets about the state of Israel surfaced. L’Oreal brand ambassador Khan was set to make history by apparently being the first hijab-wearing model in the multimedia hair care products promotion for L’Oreal Paris’ new Elvive World of Care product line. The inclusivity celebrating campaign features diverse models displaying various hairstyles.
In the social media activity from 2014, “Khan accused Israel of being an ‘illegal’ genocidal state that routinely murders children and other Palestinian civilians,” the Daily Caller reported. The news website was apparently the first outlet to uncover the tweets. According to the Jerusalem Post, she also accused Israel of torture, murder, and rape.
In a Twitter message yesterday, Amena Khan announced that she would no longer participate in the newly launched ad campaign for the world’s largest cosmetics maker because the controversy over the tweets had become too much of a distraction.
Khan expressed regret for the tweets, which she has deleted, and apologized to anyone who might be offended (see message embedded below). She added that she remains a champion of diversity and harbors no discriminatory feelings toward anyone.
According to Vogue UK, Amena Khan is a Muslim woman who began wearing a headscarf in her 20s.
L’Oreal Paris released a statement about Amena Khan pulling out of the Elvive campaign, BBC News reported.
“We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Kahn, who was featured in a UK advertising campaign. We appreciate that Amena has since apologized for the content of these tweets and the offense they have caused. L’Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”
Khan, who has previously appeared in L’Oreal campaigns, was set to appear in this particular campaign as the face of the Pink One, “which aims to boost and shine dull hair,” People explained.
“Whether or not your hair is on display doesn’t affect how much you care about it,” Amena Khan said in the original ad, CNN noted.
In September 2017, L’Oreal found itself in another controversy after hiring and then firing its first transgender model, who was going to appear in its diversity promoting advertising initiative called the True Match campaign.
In a Facebook post written in the aftermath of the Charlottesville incident, the model accused all white people of being racist. L’Oreal said that it ended its partnership with the model because the comments were at odds with its values.