Quantico star Priyanka Chopra graced the cover of the India edition of Conde Nast Traveller magazine in a sexy and flawless look, but the cover photo caused a stir on social media for being insensitive towards refugees and immigrants.
For the magazine cover, Priyanka sported a wet hair look with dark and defined eyebrows and coffee coloured lip. She wore a white T-shirt that had four words – Refugee, Immigrant, Outsider and Traveller – printed on it. Out of these, three words – Refugee, Immigrant and Outsider – were crossed out and that caused a controversy on social media.
Several social media users slammed the actress and the magazine for the offencive message. Following the uproar, the magazine issued an official statement explaining why they crossed the three words and kept traveller uncrossed. The magazine said that the labelling of people is creating a "culture of xenophobia."
Read the complete statement below:
At Condé Nast Traveller, we believe that the opening up of borders and the breaking down of walls can help us discover the world, and open up our minds and hearts. So, when we had actor Priyanka Chopra wear a T-shirt we created on the cover of the 6th-anniversary issue, we had a point to make.
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 the 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.
And this is why Priyanka Chopra – a star at home and abroad, who has experienced firsthand the opportunities that travel offers – is the perfect ambassador. It's not about her being a refugee or immigrant or outsider; it's about her, like us, recognising the power of travel, and joining us in asking everyone to do better for each other.