Update: The story has been updated with the magazine’s statement on the cover photo.
Priyanka Chopra is at the receiving end of social media yet again for her cover photo on the latest issue of Condé Nast Traveller. In the photo, she is wearing a white tank top with the words ‘refugee’, ‘immigrant’ and ‘outsider’ struck off leaving traveller at the end. In what the magazine claims to send a strong message, hasn’t gone down well with many on Twitter who see it as insensitive because ‘being a refugee is not a choice that one makes’.
“You want to use your celebrity to address real issues? Cool. Just be sure of message you convey,” said a user. “Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that being a refugee is a matter of choice…What were you thinking?” wrote another.
The magazine tweeted, “Bold and fearless, @priyankachopra makes a statement on our 6th anniversary issue cover. #PCinCNT #WhyWeTravel” for the interview in which Priyanka talks about how she loves to travel and has no roots because she lives on an island of her own always on the run.
However, some have defended Priyanka saying that there may have been a different interpretation of the message on her T-shirt. “it means that ppl r striking off these ppl & the next will be traveler,” tweeted a user.
But here’s what the majority have to say.
— Ajuran (@Payitforward87) October 9, 2016
— desipolitan (@desipolitan) October 10, 2016
— Anum R. Chagani (@Anumero_1) October 8, 2016
— savita_pawnday (@savita_pawnday) October 9, 2016
@cntindia being a refugee is NOT a choice, it’s a matter of survival. i was already disappointed for her comments abt feminism, now this -.-
— कमीनी (@1DerfulJelieber) October 8, 2016
— Ahmed Shafiq (@Ahmed7867864) October 9, 2016
— Meena Kadri (@meanestindian) October 9, 2016
— Devyani Rajan (@rajan_devyani) October 10, 2016
Responding to brouhaha surrounding the T-shirt and the kind of message it conveys, Condé Nast Traveller India published a statement, explaining why they chose that particular T-shirt. “It’s about how our labelling of people as immigrants, refugees and outsiders is creating a culture of xenophobia. We are allowing thousands of innocent people who are forced to cross borders due to unimaginable terror and atrocities to be treated without humanity and empathy. It’s about how we are allowing some powerful leaders to build barriers that make it more difficult for bright, motivated and hardworking people to see more of the world, learn from it and make it better for us all.
“It’s time we demand better, and stand against the building of walls, literal and otherwise. We must demand a world free of racism and bigotry and prejudice, so that we—and generations after us—may enjoy all the abundance that travel offers, the beauty of a world that is open and rich and diverse in its people and cultures and geographies. And we must, in the midst of our many differences, find and celebrate our commonalities, our oneness. We must recognise that we are all on a journey. Whether we are moving across oceans or just a few kilometres, or in our mind’s eye, into a completely different world, whether we are doing so due to free will or circumstance—we are all travellers.”
The last time Priyanka was criticised on social media was for her comments on feminism that got to people’s nerves. “I don’t like the phrase ‘woman of color.’ I feel like that puts women in a box. I’m a woman, whether I’m white, Black, brown, green, blue, or pink — whatever. I think we need to start looking beyond that. It would be a big win for women, period,” she had said.
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