A model who became the first woman in a hijab to feature in advertising for hair brand L’Oreal has stepped down from the “game changing” campaign after a series of “anti-Israel” tweets emerged.
Amena Khan, who announced her recruitment to the initiative just six days ago, said she decided to step down “because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver”.
She wrote on Instagram of her regret over tweets dating from 2014, which had prompted accusations she held “anti-Israel” views.
In a statement sent to HuffPost UK, a L’Oreal spokesperson said: “We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Khan, who was featured in a UK advertising campaign.
“We appreciate that Amena has since apologised for the content of these tweets and the offence they have caused. L’Oréal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people.
“We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”
Speaking upon the announcement of the new campaign on 16th January, Khan told Vogue: “You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don’t show their hair don’t look after it.
“The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence.”
L’Oreal ambassador Cheryl, model Neelam Gill, and ex-McFly singer Dougie Poynter, also appear in the new advert, which was aired across the UK this week.