Emily Ratajkowski and Teddy Quinlivan have blasted the models who agreed to take part in a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia.
High-profile models including Winnie Harlow, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Stella Maxwell joined the likes of Armie Hammer, Ryan Phillippe, Sofia Richie, and Scott Disick in the country’s capital of Riyadh for the MDL Beast Festival.
Members of the Saudi government allegedly gifted the all-expenses-paid tours to celebrities and Instagram influencers to improve the country’s reputation and spark an interest in their tourism industry, despite their track record of human-rights abuses.
According to editors at news outlet Insider, Richie shared a picture on Instagram from Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel, which was reportedly the same hotel that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used to detain a number of prominent people under the guise of anti-corruption charges.
In light of the issue, Ratajkowski released a statement to moderators at fashion commentary website Diet Prada and told them she had turned down the trip.
“It is very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press,” the 28-year-old stated. “I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening here.”
While Quinlivan took to Instagram to share her disgust at her fellow models and urged her followers to be “conscious” of their actions.
“As a LGBTQ+ rights activist, supporter of human rights and equality of the sexes, I felt it was important I speak on this issue specifically on this platform,” the 25-year-old, who came out as transgender in 2017, wrote. “We all have to be conscious of what we are supporting and what we lend our platforms to.”
Martha Hunt also turned down the trip to MDL Beast Festival.
“I stand in solidarity with the repressed people of Saudi Arabia and refuse to be used as a campaign to cover up those suffering from injustice,” she said.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi operatives at the nation’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2018. The Saudi royal family has denied ordering or sanctioning the killing. In addition, women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested in May 2018. She remains in prison pending the next court session.
© Cover Media