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Adut Akech Called Out Who Mag For Their Racist Image Mix-Up

“This wouldn’t have happened to a white model”

Melbourne-based Who Magazine is being absolutely roasted in the press right now, and for good reason. They interviewed elite worldwide black supermodel Adut Akech, for a feature (omg) and then used… a different model’s picture??

The yikes mix up hasn’t been taken lightly, with Adut Akech calling out the mistake for exactly what it is: racist. She posted a statement on Instagram condemning the mistake to her 500k followers.

Adut Akech Instagram Statement


View this post on Instagram


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

A post shared by Adut Akech Bior (@adutakech) on

This Is Definitely About Racism

The irony of Adut speaking about “how people view refugees and people’s attitude to colour in general” only to be mixed up with another black woman is actually painful.

She mentions how this mix up is not only just disrespectful to her and her race, but also just so astoundingly tone-deaf to the fact that she literally just talked about the struggle of people of colour. Imagine listening to that interview and writing it up, only to use the picture of another black woman because apparently all black women look the same or something.

Like, the image they used would have had to be reviewed by several people before it was published, and nobody noticed? Never mind the fact that Adut Akech is an internationally famous, New York based supermodel.

Adut is right – this would never have happened to a white model.

The whole thing is actually atrocious, and an embarrassing indictment for the rampant racism still existing in Aussie society.

Image Sources: GIPHY, Instagram: @adutakech

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