Supermodel Gigi Hadid has penned a letter apologizing to “anyone that I offended” after she was slammed on social media for her “racist” impression of soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump during the opening ceremony of the American Music Awards ceremony on Sunday.
The 21 year old, who was co-hosting the event with Jay Pharaoh, put on her best fake Eastern European accent complete with a Melania-style duck face to mock the wife of President-elect Donald Trump for stealing Michelle Obama’s words during her address to the Republican National Convention in July.
“I love my husband, President Barack Obama. And our children Sasha and Malia,” she said, in reference to the plagiarism row that cast a cloud over her husband’s campaign.
“That’s spot on,” exclaimed her co-host, former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharoah, before launching into his own impression of Donald Trump.
While the impersonations sent the AMAs audience into hysterics, the comedy skit didn’t sit well with everyone at home.
Trump supporters immediately took to Twitter to condemn Hadid’s parody as offensive and racist, advising the belle to stick to modeling.
One user said “The funny thing is, if Melania was black, she wouldn’t DARE attempt an impersonation,” as others branded it an “embarrassment.”
— Trump Super PAC (@TrumpSuperPAC) November 21, 2016
— Christie (@RepRepublic) November 21, 2016
Gigi Hadid showed the highest form of disrespect possible to the next first lady. Unforgivable! #AMAs
— Gary Moring (@GaryMolten) November 21, 2016
— Ajh2016 (@ajbh_2016) November 21, 2016
— Nikki Baumgarten (@n_baumgarten) November 21, 2016
The model has now decided to address the controversial “joke” in a letter she posted to her Twitter account on Monday.
“I too have been the centre of a nationally televised comedy skit that poked fun at my actions and was able to find the humor in it. I believe Melania understands show business and the way shows are written and run,” she wrote.
“I apologize to anyone that I offend and have only the best wishes for our country.”
Ironically, given the backlash leveled at Hadid and Donald Trump’s well-known tirades against his adversaries on social media, cyberbullying is the one issue Melania Trump promised to tackle as First Lady.
“Our culture has gotten too mean and too violent. It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked.”Ms Trump said earlier this month. “It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”
Donald Trump has not yet responded to Hadid’s impression of his wife.