Gigi Hadid Responds to 'Blackface' Accusations Surrounding Vogue Italia Cover

The model publicly apologized on social media after receiving backlash for her cover shoot.

One day after Vogue Italia revealed the cover of its May issue, Gigi Hadid is publicly apologizing.

On Wednesday, the magazine released a preview of the issue featuring Hadid on the cover. On it, the model is wearing a sequined outfit and gold crown. The problem? Her noticeably unnatural darker skin tone. Social media users were immediately less than thrilled, accusing Hadid of "blackface" and being racially insensitive. 

In response, the model on Thursday apologized later via social media. On her Instagram story and Twitter, Hadid posted a photo of herself leaving the shoot with a caption defending her decision and the role she played. She also went on to defend the creative decisions of photographer Steven Klein and the Vogue Italia team.

"Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non existent in terms of creative direction 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post is out of my control fully," Hadid wrote. "The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S. Klein has done for many years and I believe what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively), BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia's intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that would have been brought up are valid."

Hadid then went on to take responsibility for her actions, apologizing for the cover photo.

"I want to address this for those who were personally offended by the edited/retouching/coloring of the cover," she wrote." Please know that things would have been different if my control of the situation was different. Regardless, I want to apologize because my intention is never to diminish those concerns or take opportunities away from anyone else."

Hadid finished her post by addressing the diversity issues that still remain in the fashion industry today and suggesting that the backlash could be used as an example for other magazines in the future. 

"There are real issues regarding representation in fashion," she explained. "It's our responsibility to acknowledge those issues and communicate through them to work towards a more diverse industry." 

This is the second time that the Hadid-Vogue Italia duo have received "blackface" backlash. In November 2015, the model was featured on the cover sporting a neon-blue afro hairstyle and, once again, a darker skin tone.