Bar Refaeli Slammed as 'Racist' After Wearing and then Ripping Off a Niqab in Israeli Clothing Ad
Bar Refaeli is in hot water after starring in an Israeli apparel advert that many have slammed as “racist” and even “Islamophobic.”
In the campaign video called “Freedom Is Basic,” which was shared on Refaeli’s Facebook page Monday, the 33-year-old model can be seen wearing a niqab — an item of clothing commonly worn by some Muslim women — while the words “Is it Iran here?” (translated by Buzzfeed) are plastered across the screen.
Seconds later, the Israeli model — who is Jewish — rips off the garment to reveal a multicolored athleisure ensemble by the brand called Hoodies.
As she shows off the outfit and shakes her hair vigorously, a song with the lyrics, “It’s all about freedom, finally breaking the chains, the cost of my freedom,” plays in the background.
Although Refaeli has removed the video from her social media pages with the exception to her Facebook, she has already received a significant amount of backlash as the ad seemingly implies freedom is the removal of a niqab.
“@BarRefaeli this is just stupid. My idea of freedom is wearing hijab and if I want to wear niqab I will. This is what creates islamaphobia,” one user wrote on Twitter.
Another social media user tweeted: “This has to be the most ignorant and racist ad I’ve ever seen and I can’t believe a whole company approved this.. I’m disgusted and at a loss of words.”
“Ad depicts @BarRefaeli taking off a niqab followed by lyrics “finally freedom.” This is disgusting,” a different user Tweeted.
Other than removing the ad, Refaeli has not publicly addressed the backlash.
A representative for the model did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Hoodies also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.