Internet brims with a call to boycott the international brand, Zara, after head designer, Vanessa Perilman, made hateful comments about Palestine in a conversation with a male model.
The controversy spiked after the male model released the conversation on social media. Perilman defended Israel and blamed the victims in Palestine for the violence in Gaza. She also attacked the Islamic faith of the male model.
I remember what I was looking for. EVERY ONE – which is just 14 followers who idk. Kindly retweet #boycottzara because Vanessa Perilmen, head designer of Zara made a racist comment towards one of the model for supporting Palestine ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/KFlsnrnIYu
— Anis (@Anis_Miwa) June 14, 2021
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“Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,” she wrote to a Muslim male model, Qaher Harhash who belongs to East Jerusalem.
“I think it’s funny that you’re a model because in reality, that is against what the Muslim faith believes in and if you were to come out of the closet in any Muslim country, you would be stoned to death,” she then exclaimed.
Vanessa Perliman a head designer at Zara DM’d a young Palestinian model this racist garbage and when she was called out gave a lukewarm apology before deleting all her social media. I emailed Zara to demand that disciplinary action be taken and this was their dismal response. pic.twitter.com/eCJ6FUei2u
— Nooran A. (@nooranhamdan) June 11, 2021
Following the leaked conversation, thousands of people lodged complaints to Zara against the head designer. Reluctant to take action against the designer, the brand said, model Qaher Harhash has accepted the “spontaneous” apology.
The male model against posted the screenshots of the brand contacting him to post online the apology by Vanessa Perilman.
The screenshots ostensibly suggested that Perilman was worried about losing her job. She apologized for venting out adding that she was frustrated with people hating Jews everywhere.
Model Qaher reminded how people in Europe take Islamophobia lightly despite Muslims making a large part of the population and also the consumer base for such brands.
“When certain designers said anti-semitic things they were fired from their jobs at luxury [fashion] houses,” he recalled.
The model further added that the designer had deleted the messages and audio recordings she sent to her before deactivating her social media account. “I wonder why someone would delete their messages before deactivating if they had nothing to hide,” he said. Adding that whatever came out from her mouth was worse, if not, equivalent to anti-semitism.
He said that he will not accept the apology that is not meant and urged his followers to boycott ‘Zara’. He demands the brand to take meaningful action against the designer who tried defending Israel in the conversation and asked him to understand the perspective of Israel. Hashtag #BoycottZara since then has been trending atop on social media globally with netizen from Pakistan also joining the campaign.