Social media users have expressed their anger and disappointment over luxury fashion brand Dior’s reported decision to replace Palestinian-American model and long-time brand ambassador Bella Hadid with Israeli model May Tager in its latest ad campaign. The hashtag “Boycott Dior” has been trending on X (formerly known as Twitter) with users calling for a boycott of the brand and its products. The news comes amid the ongoing conflict and violence in the Middle East, where Israel has been conducting a massive military operation against Hamas-controlled Gaza in response to a rocket attack by the militant group that killed more than 1,400 people, according to Jerusalem.
What did Bella Hadid do to spark the controversy?
The news was first reported by Turkiye’s Yeni Safak and then picked up by an Israeli newspaper. It soon triggered a heated debate among social media users who questioned Dior’s move from Ms Hadid.
The supermodel, whose father is Palestinian, has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and a critic of Israeli policies. She has been the face of Dior since 2016.
Neither Bella Hadid nor the brand has confirmed or denied the news of her alleged replacement so far.
Who is May Tager?
The 24-year-old is a well-known model who has worked with international brands such as Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret and many others. According to Ynet News, she was born in Denmark and moved to the Israeli town of Ganei Tikva with her parents.
She posted some photos on her Instagram last week in which she appeared to be the star of Dior’s new holiday campaign ad.
Why is this a sensitive issue?
The reported replacement of Bella Hadid with Ms Tager has provoked outrage among many people who see it as a sign of Dior’s support for Israel and indifference to the Palestinian plight. Some users accused Dior of being “tone-deaf” and “insensitive” to the current situation and suffering in the region. Others urged people to boycott the brand and its products until it apologizes and reinstates Bella Hadid.
The issue is also complicated by the fact that Ms Tager is not only an Israeli citizen, but also a former soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which has been accused of committing war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians. Ms Tager has shared photos of herself in uniform on her social media accounts, which have drawn criticism and backlash from some of her followers.
Dior has not issued any official statement on the matter yet, nor has it verified or refuted the reports of Ms Hadid’s replacement. However, some sources have claimed that the decision was not politically motivated, but rather based on the availability and suitability of the models for the campaign.
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