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Gigi Hadid Cancels Fashion Show Appearance After Her Visa Was Allegedly Revoked By Chinese Authorities

by Tod Perry

November 20, 2017

Last year, supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid became the first sisters to ever walk the catwalk together at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But this year, Bella will be walking without her famous sister because of a distasteful video posted on Snapchat in February. The video showed Gigi squinting her eyes to imitate Asians as she held a cookie that resembled Buddha.

The video offended many in the Asian community, not only for the eye gesture, but also because it was disrespectful to Buddhists.

On Nov. 16, Gigi tweeted that she would not be appearing at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. According to reports, Gigi’s visa was denied, so she wasn’t allowed in the country for the event. 

It’s also believed that singer Katy Perry was scheduled to be a musical guest on the show but that her visa was pulled as well. Perry wore a sunflower-themed dress at a concert in Taiwan back in 2015. The sunflower is a symbol associated with anti-China protestors.

The Global Times ran an editorial Nov. 19 claiming that although it was unknown whether Hadid and Perry were denied visas, it made sense for political reasons. “Political correctness cannot be ignored,” the Global Times said. “Payback was unavoidable. Those who are serious about developing careers in the Chinese market can draw lessons from this case and learn to abide by the rules in China.”

Victoria’s Secret recently opened its first retail store in Shanghai, but there’s no telling if the recent controversy will affect the brand’s big launch. China’s market for women’s underwear is worth an estimated $25 billion, nearly double that of the United States. 

Preview image by Eva Rinaldi/Flickr.

Share image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images. 

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