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L'Oreal's hijab-wearing hair model steps down after 'anti-Israel' tweets surface

File photo of Amena Khan as featured in new L’Oreal Paris haircare ad campaign. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 23, 2018, 05.33 AM (IST)

Amena Khan created history last week after starring in what can be labelled as first L’Oreal Paris’ hair advertisement with a hijab-wearing model. 

Her stint, however, was short-lived with Khan pulling out of the campaign on Tuesday after her old Israel-bashing tweets surfaced. 

Tweets published nearly five years ago came to haunt Khan who then issued a statement on Instagram saying: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt that they have caused. Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone.”

Khan explained she decided to delete her tweets because “they do not represent the message of harmony” she stands for.


Her statement comes following accusations that her tweets were “anti-Israel". 

According to screenshots of her deleted posts, she asked UK prime minister David Cameron in 2014, “Do you staunchly support Israel’s actions in terrorizing innocent civilians?”

In another pair of tweets that year, Khan stated, “Israel is a sinister state & the ones who suffer most are innocent children.”


After a public outcry on her tweets, Khan said she decided to step down as “the current conversations surrounding [the campaign] detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”

The British beauty blogger who is a L’Oreal ambassador, YouTube vlogger, co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, designer of her own line of headscarves gained recognition after she sported a soft pink headscarf against a bright pink backdrop to star in a L'Oreal ad for their new haircare product line, Elvive for hair products. 

At the time of the launch, the advertisement gained recognition worldwide for earning points on inclusivity and featuring a diverse cast with different hair care needs. 

On the issue of her stepping down, a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris said, “We appreciate that Amena has since apologized for the content of these tweets and the offence they have caused. L’Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”