FHM retract 'racist' cover after featuring actress surrounded by black models with strapline 'Stepping Out Of The Shadows'
Men's magazine FHM has had to pull a controversial cover after being accused of racism.
The March edition of the Philippines FHM had featured white actress Bela Padilla posing in a pink swimsuit surrounded by dark-skinned models, accompanied by the caption 'stepping out of the shadows'.
When the magazine uploaded a sneak preview of the cover on their Facebook page, they were flooded with criticism from readers who branded the concept 'racist'.
'Racist': The original March cover of FHM Philippines shows actress Bela Padilla surrounded by darker-skinned models and the tagline 'stepping out of the shadows'
One reader posted: 'Seriously, did you guys not sense how racist this concept was'
Another said: 'It's racist, plain and simple. So up yours to those who call it “art”. You guys have no sensitivity to colored people.'
Meanwhile the topic also began trending on Twitter where users tweeted comments including 'shame on FHM Philippines', and accused the magazine of being 'racist as well as sexist' and 'horrendously backwards'.
Bosses at FHM were quick to respond to the uproar and the March edition of the magazine featured a different cover when it went on sale this week.
In a statement, the magazine said that editorial team had “re-examined the cover” in response to readers' concerns.
The new cover: The edition that has gone on sale has a different pose and caption after FHM apologised for any offence caused
'We took all the points into consideration and have decided to take the side of sensitivity,' the statement reads.
FHM hits the stands in March it will have a different cover. We deem
this to be the most prudent move in the light of the confusion over the
previous cover execution.
apologize and thank those who have raised their points. We apologize to
Bela Padilla for any distress this may have caused her. In our pursuit
to come up with edgier covers, we will strive to be more sensitive next
'It was never the intention to offend': Bela Padilla has appeared on numerous news channels this week to apologise for her part in the controversy
The new cover still
shows Padilla in a pink two-piece but this time, she is posing on her
own with the tagline 'I want to emerge with my own name.'
Ironically, the controversy has propelled the previously little-known actress into the spotlight. She appeared on BBC News this week to defend the thought process behind the original concept. Her name also began trending worldwide on Twitter where she has gained an army of new followers offering their support. 'Don't fault Bela, she just did her job,' one fan Tweeted.
The actress issued her own statement over the issue in which she apologised for any offence caused.
'It was never the intention of anyone behind the production to offend anybody,' she said. 'The concept has been agreed upon both by FHM and myself. The collaboration was purely artistic in nature and there was no malice involved upon its execution.
'I would like to personally apologize to those who may have been offended by the cover feature.
'Let me repeat, We never want to offend anybody. FHM and I agreed that FHM management will be undertaking some changes on this particular cover so that this issue of alleged racism will be put to rest.'