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In Latest Episode Of ‘All Black People Don’t Look Alike’: A Magazine Mixed-Up Two Black Models For A Feature Interview

An Australian magazine is under fire after they incorrectly identified the South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech, and published a photograph of model Lavia Lazarus instead. Akech, who’s worked with Chanel, Vogue, British Vogue, and other well-renowned fashion publications, took to Instagram to express her disappointment after the magazine published another model in a feature she was interviewed for. 

She was interviewed by WHO magazine, a celebrity and entertainment publication, ahead of Melbourne Fashion Week which begins in Australia this week on August 28.

According to Akech, the publication already directly issued an apology to her but she still wanted to share with the public how the incident made her feel. 

“With the article, they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl,” Akech wrote in her Instagram caption. “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.”

She went on to write that she not only felt insulted and disrespected but she felt like her entire race had been disrespected too. According to the model, the incident compelled her to address the issue so that similar flubs would not be repeated.

In her interview with Australia’s WHO Magazine, Akech said she spoke about how people view refugees and about people’s attitude to people of color in general. But after they mistook her for another Black model, she felt that it not only disrespected her but also defeated the purpose of what she said in her interview and what she stood for. 

Akech went on to write in the lengthy caption that she feels this wouldn’t have happened to a white model and it’s also not the first time she’s experienced something similar to this, she added.

@adutakech / Instagram

In her caption, Akech also opened up about the many times other people have called her by another model’s name. Ultimately, Akech hopes that by speaking up and publicly addressing how this made her feel, it will work as somewhat of a “wake up call to people within the [fashion] industry.” 

Publications need to do better, and so do the writers, photographers, fact-checkers, and editors within these publications. Akech ended her caption by saying that Australia has a lot of work to do and so does the rest of the industry. 

Many people on Twitter also showed their support for Adut Akech and voiced their opinions about the gross trend of mistaking other black women for each other in the fashion and entertainment industry.

Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp on Twitter went on to air her frustrations and disappointments with what happened. “Respect for all people from all backgrounds is fundamental to our city and our culture. The diversity of our community is precious and something we truly value and celebrate,” she added. 

Capp went on to write that she was working to identify ways to make a positive impact so these acts of discrimination do not keep happening. She said she will be meeting with model Adut Akech and went on to express her “deepest apologies.” 

Most importantly, she tweeted, the City of Melbourne will be working with Adut to “create the most positive and proactive outcome from an awful and completely avoidable situation.”

While it’s great to see that Lord Mayor Melbourne Sally Capp is taking the necessary steps to address this situation in a mature and constructive manner, she hits the nail right on the head when she says this was a completely avoidable situation.  

One user tweeted that mistaking Adut Akech for another Black woman is just another form of blatant of racism.  

Shahmir Sanni tweeted that Adut Akech has been on “every major magazine in the world” and that white writers need to do better and avoid another racist incident like this in the future. “When a black woman has worked hard for her accolades, broken a multitude of glass ceilings, spoken up for refugees unapologetically, misidentifying her plays into the structural & institutional biases of our societies,” Sanni wrote in another tweet

Another Twitter user pointed out that Adut Akech is simultaneously on 3 different September covers — including Meghan Markle’s Vogue issue where she was a guest editor.

And yet, they added, the wrong photo of her was still included in the Australian magazine. 

Other folks on Twitter were also quick to reiterate that Adut Akech is one of the world’s top models at the moment and that this irresponsible “mix-up” is something other Black women can relate to. 

“All of us who have been mistaken for another can empathize,” they tweeted. 

Since Akech shared her post on Instagram, Melbourne Fashion Week also published an apology on its Instagram page saying they were extremely disappointed that a photo of one of their campaign models, Flavia Lazarus, was “mistaken;y printed instead of a photo of Adut.” 

Further, BBC also reached out to WHO Magazine for a statement. To which they responded that “The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologise for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client the City of Melbourne.”

Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

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Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

Dailymail / Twitter

After the 2015 Miss Universe disaster where Steve Harvey erroneously crowned Miss Colombia? who? the winner of the pageant when Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach was actually the winner, we assumed that Harvey would try to be on his best behavior from now on. But of course, Steve Harvey being Steve Harvey, he couldn’t play it straight for too long. And, once again, he’s embroiled himself in another controversy–again, involving Miss Colombia.

From the get-go, Harvey started off his hosting gig awkwardly, immediately addressing his 2015 headline-making mix-up. He then proceeded to make an off-color joke about the fiasco. “Colombia’s gotten over that. They’ve forgiven me,” he quipped. “Well, not all of them. The cartel’s still tripping a little bit”. 

As if this opening joke weren’t offensive enough, Harvey continued to rag on Colombia when announcing that Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur had qualified for the Top 20. 

After being announced, Tafur approached Steve Harvey, joking with him a little about his his famous absentmindedness. “Yes, I’m here,” she joked. “Are you sure you read correctly? Should I go back?”.

Harvey admitted to Tafur that he was “struggling” with his hosting duties, to which Tafur replied, “You’re forgiven”. Sensing an opportunity to shoe-horn in another narco joke, Harvey said: “You’ve forgiven me, not the cartel…They’re not handling it the same way.”

Tafur, although she looked as if she were trying to be a good sport and smile it off, appeared to become a bit more frozen after he cracked the joke. It also should be noted that the audience didn’t seem to respond well to the joke–there was little laughter to be heard coming from the crowd.

The backlash to Harvey’s joke was swift, with Colombians accusing the comedian of perpetuating negative stereotypes about  their beloved South American country.

The truth is, pageantry is an important aspect of many Latino cultures–especially ones in South America. Part of the reason that many of these women join pageants is to be a positive representation of their country for the rest of the world. 

There is even a “National Costume Show” portion of the competition where contestants dress up in outfits that illustrate an authentic aspect of the culture of their home country. No country is perfect and the pageant isn’t meant shouldn’t be turned into a platform to single out a country and bring attention to its flaws.

Miss Colombia, for her part, took to Twitter herself to drag Harvey for his offensive joke. 

Although many people still associate Colombia drugs, gangs, and violence, its murder rate has fallen to 25% in the last 25 years. In 2016, the Colombian government and the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed a peace treaty with the goal of putting an end to a violent civil war that has last 52 years. The treaty included switch illegal crops like coca with alternatives, hopefully minimizing opportunity for drug traffickers. Since then, Colombia’s homicide rate has dropped to an all-time low

Not only was the audience unimpressed with Harvey’s inappropriate joke, but Twitter was too.

It’s one thing to slip up once, make an inappropriate joke, and then stop after you’ve learned the error of your ways. Harvey continued to make Colombia the butt of his jokes and he crossed the line. 

This person made a point to call out Steve Harvey for trying to embarrass Colombia on a worldwide stage. 

Miss Colombia is chosen to be a representative about the best parts of her country. Tafur has nothing to do with cartels. 

This person explained how Harvey’s “joke” was disrespectful to actual victims and survivors of cartel violence.

Believe it or not, cartel violence is an epidemic in Colombia. We guarantee that if Harvey experience the violence in person, he wouldn’t be making light of the situation on international TV.

In an event as globally inclusive as Miss Universe, it’s imperative to recognize that no country is perfect.

Colombians are tired of being thought of as narcos and drug addicts in the eyes of the world. 

This Twitter user was full of kind words for a woman who handled an uncomfortable situation with such grace

I like how @IAmSteveHarvey makes a joke about the cartel to #MissColombia and then cut to her package and she’s like “I’m a lawyer and have been fighting violence in my country.” Get it girl. And Steve, sit down man. #MissUniverse

A Florida Politician Verbally Assaulted A Group Of Latinos But They Recorded The Incident

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A Florida Politician Verbally Assaulted A Group Of Latinos But They Recorded The Incident

@TrendsKey / Twitter

Late last month, a teenage Puerto Rican tennis player was accosted by local politician Martin Hyde at a tennis club in Sarasota, Florida. The tennis player captured the incident on video, which was later posted to social media by Puerto Rican attorney Alvin Couto de Jesus, who had originally gotten the video from the athlete’s uncle, Javier Irizarry.

In the video, Hyde is seated, speaking tersely with the athlete and his peers, before following them as they begin to leave the premises.

According to Irizarry, his 15-year-old nephew was invited to play in the Casely International Tennis Championship, which was hosted last week by Bath & Racquet Club at the Celsius Tennis Academy in Sarasota, Florida. The athlete was practicing for the tournament when, allegedly, Hyde approached him and his friends in an aggressive manner, instructing them to “cut grass” and “get out.” The video’s audio begins with Hyde telling one of the players to “keep [your] mouth shut.” The tennis player and his peers rebuke Hyde’s confrontation, calling him out for making racist comments and demanding that they leave.

“You’re telling me to cut grass because I’m Hispanic,” says one of the players. “That’s racism, man. How can you say something like that?”

The players continue to draw attention to Hyde’s racist comments before turning to leave the scene. Hyde gets up from his seat and follows them, crying, “Out! Out!” all the while.

Before leaving the Tennis Academy, the teens report the incident to Academy staff. Meanwhile, Hyde interrupts and tries to invalidate their story, accusing them of being disruptive and intoxicated.

“I don’t know what drugs they’re on,” he says, insisting that he is a “member of the club” and that he wants the teenagers to leave. The athletes repeat his comment about “cutting grass,” and while some of Hyde’s speech is muffled, his response to the teen is clear as day: “Yes,” he says. “So what?” When a staff member engages in an attempt to solve the conflict, Hyde encourages her to “throw them out,” eventually telling the teens to “shut up” before abruptly walking away.

Latino Rebels reported the story and shared the video on Friday. It has since circulated widely on social media, and as a result, Sarasota’s Bath & Racquet Club has banned Hyde from its premises.

“We have kids from all over the world, Central America, Latin America, who play here and compete to get scholarships for college,” Cary Cohenour, the director of Celsius Tennis Academy, which leases courts to the club, told NBC News. “The whole incident was out of control and though Celsius wasn’t involved, we want people to know that we denounce racism here.”

An active candidate for the District 2 Sarasota City Commission, Hyde planned to quit the race after news of the incident spread. However, he’s since announced that he may continue running. And in spite of the video evidence, Hyde adamantly denies making racist comments to the Puerto Rican tennis players, though he does admit that he acted inappropriately.

“I was rude and I regret that. It was a long day and my kids were being disturbed while they were having their lesson, because the boys were being loud,” Hyde said. “But I simply didn’t say those things, and that’s why they’re not in the video.”

Hyde also denies allegations—made by Twitter user @sergiodilan101, who Latino Rebels have identified as Irizarry’s nephew—that Hyde offered him $50,000 in exchange for the video.

In this Twitter thread, @sergiodilan101 recounts the story in great detail, expressing that before this incident, he and his compañero had never felt so “upset, frustrated, uncomfortable, and sad.” He encourages all Latinos to stand together and support each other in situations like this, and he has received an abundant outpouring of support and affirmation, both from people online, political figures, and family.

“We had a long talk about reality and I explained to him that this guy represents a really small minority and that his behavior wasn’t normal,” Irizarry told NBC News. “I hope by sharing the video we can prevent something like this from happening again.”

Additionally,  Peter Vivaldi, a former Republican candidate for the Florida state Senate—who is also of Puerto Rican descent—responded to the video by saying that “if you’re a public figure . . . you run for everybody, you represent everybody.”

He added, “This is not what we want to represent any party and less do we want that in the state of Florida, where we’re talking about Puerto Ricans that are American citizens. We need to make sure if you’re Republican or Democrat, if you’re saying things that are not appropriate, we need to call you out.”