'It Was Of Another Black Girl': Aussie Supermodel Slams Photo Mixup
Australian supermodel Adut Akech says she feels "insulted and disrespected" after a magazine incorrectly paired her interview with a photo of the wrong model.
Ahead of her appearance at the upcoming Melbourne Fashion Week, Akech was interviewed for this week's issue of Who Magazine.
In the interview, the South Sudanese-Australian model said she discussed racism and "how people view refugees and people's attitude to colour in general".
However, Who Magazine accidentally published her interview alongside a picture of the wrong model.
"With the article they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl," Akech said in an impassioned Instagram post on Sunday.
"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 thought that was me in that picture and that’s not okay."
Akech told her 497,000 followers she did not believe this would have happened to a white model.
"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 narrow-minded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same," she said.
"This has deeply affected me and we need to start an important conversation that needs to happen. I’m sure that I’m not the first person that’s experienced this and it needs to stop."
The photo published by Who, which is owned by Pacific Magazines, is of Flavia Lazarus.
Akech was voted Model of the Year in Model.com's industry vote, and was one of 15 influential women recently handpicked by the Duchess of Sussex to appear on the cover of British Vogue's 'Forces for Change' September issue. She was also named 2018's Model of the Year at the Australian Fashion Laureate awards.
South Sudanese–Australian model Duckie Thot, who last year walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, offered Akech her support.
"This has happened to me too with another Australian paper ... it’s really disrespectful and sad. I hope you’re okay," Thot commented on the post.
Akech said she does not wish to "bash" the publication, but wants to use this as a learning moment for the industry.
"I want this to be somewhat of a wake up call to people within the industry it’s not OK and you need to do better," Akech said.
"Australia you’ve a lot of work to do and you’ve got to do better and that goes to the rest of the industry."
A spokesperson for WHO apologised for the error, and said it came from the agency which set up the interview.
“WHO sincerely apologises for the incorrect image that appeared in this week’s magazine," a spokesperson told 10 daily.
“Unfortunately the agency that set up our interview with Adut Akech supplied us with the wrong photograph to accompany the piece.
“WHO spoke directly with Adut to explain how the error occurred and have sincerely apologised.
"We also apologise to Flavia Lazarus for the misprint.
"Our intention was to share Adut’s inspiring story and highlight her achievements. 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."