Adut Akech Gets Mistaken for Flavia Lazarus in an Australian Magazine

“Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected too…”

Entertainment
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Yesterday, Adut Akech took to Instagram calling out WHO Magazine, which mistakenly identified her as Flavia Lazarus after being interviewed for a feature. The model says she felt “disrespected” after the issue came out.

Ahead of Melbourne Fashion Week, Akech addressed during her interview with the publication on how the world views people of color and refugees because she herself was raised in a Kenyan refugee camp and later migrated to Adelaide. When she realized that Lazarus’ photo was mistaken for hers, she called the situation “unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances.” Akech continued in her caption saying:

“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. This is a big deal because of what I spoke about in my interview.”

Akech’s intentions were not to create any tension, but she felt the express how she felt to the public. She then addressed the fashion industry saying, “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.”

According to BBC, after the model posted her photo and caption on Instagram, WHO Magazine reached out to apologize to Adut, saying it had been “given the wrong picture by the agency that set up the interview.” OPR said in a statement quoted by ABC: “The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologize for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client the City of Melbourne.”

Melbourne Fashion Week also posted an apology on its Instagram page: “We are extremely disappointed that a photo of one of our campaign models, Flavia Lazarus, was mistakenly printed instead of a photo of Adut.”

Unfortunately, instances like this have occurred in the past. During a 2017 Emmys telecast of a red carpet show, the Television Academy had mistakenly identified musical director Rickey Minor as RuPaul.

In other entertainment news, here’s a first look at Emma Stone as Cruella De Vil.

 

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I’ve have given some deep thoughts the past few days on how to approach this situation that isn’t sitting well with me.  For those who are not aware, last week @whomagazine (Australia) published a feature article about me. In the interview I spoke about how people view refugees and peoples attitude to colour in general. With the article they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl. This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances. 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. 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. I feel as though this would’ve not happened to a white model. My aim for this post is not to bash Who Magazine -they have apologised to me directly – but I feel like I need to express publicly how I feel. 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. I’ve been called by the name of another models who happens to be of the same Ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful towards both of us simply because we know that this doesn’t happen with white models. 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. Big publications need to make sure that they fact check things before publishing them especially when its real stories and interviews and not just some made up rumors. To those who work at shows and shoots it’s important that you don’t mix up models names. 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

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An important message from the M/FW team.

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