Adut Akech slams magazine for using photo of different black model in article about her: 'I feel disrespected'
Akech said the error by Australian Who magazine was ‘unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances’
Sudanese model Adut Akech slammed an Australian magazine on her Instagram page after the publication carried an interview of her with the picture of a different black model. Who magazine published the article ahead of Melbourne Fashion Week but instead of using her picture in the story, the publication mistakenly opted for a big photo of model Flavia Lazarus.
Akech's anger is understandable especially given the fact that one of the topics that she had spoken about in the interview was how the world viewed people of color. Akech took to social media and shared the photo of the article along with an extended caption about how she was “upset” and “angry” about the mistake despite the publication issuing an apology to her.
“It has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances,” she wrote in a caption. "Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected too and it is why I feel it is important that I address this issue. Whoever did this clearly the thought that was me in that picture and that’s not okay.”
She added: “This is a big deal because of what I spoke about in my interview. By this happening, I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same.”
Akech admitted that she had no intention to "bash" the magazine but thought it was important to publicly express her opinion so that it could "start an important conversation" because according to her such a thing "would've not happened to a white model." She said that she had been called by the names of models of the ethnicity as hers and she needed the fashion industry to recognize the fact that "it's not OK and you need to do better."
Meanwhile, Who magazine has issued a statement to People magazine, apologizing for the “incorrect image” and adding that “the agency that set up our interview with Adut Akech supplied us with the wrong photograph to accompany the piece.”
“Our intention was to share Adut’s inspiring story and highlight her achievements,” the statement continued. “We are committed to increasing the diversity in the pages of Who, and arranged the interview in view of this. Hopefully, the result of our misprint will be more people talking about this issue in the industry and tackling it head-on.”
Melbourne Fashion Week also stated that they were “extremely disappointed” by the mistake. “Both Adut and Flavia have expressed their disappointment and we support them. This error is unacceptable, and both Who Magazine and our public relations agency, OPR, have apologized," it said.