Bollywood actress and Quantico star Priyanka Chopra has apologized for wearing a shirt that many criticized as ‘insensitive’ for appearing to trivialize the plight of refugees. Modeling for the front cover of magazine Conde Nast Traveller, Chopra wore a top with the words “refugee,” “immigrant,” and “outsider” crossed out, and the word “traveller” left intact. Twitter users slammed Chopra over the cover, accusing her of implying that being a refugee, like being a traveller, was a choice.
— Meena Kadri (@meanestindian) October 9, 2016
In her apology, Chopra defended herself and the magazine, saying that Conde Nast had the shirt specially made and had specifically requested that she wear it in order to send a message of acceptance. “They said they were addressing xenophobia which is a big issue that is happening,” Chopra explained in an interview with Barkha Dutt of India’s NDTV. “And I bought into it, I guess. And I am really, really apologetic about the fact that sentiments were hurt … The point the magazine wanted to make was actually something good.”
Conde Nast has said that the shirt was intended to draw attention to the labels people attribute to others, and to emphasize how traveling can “open up our minds and hearts.” Watch Chopra’s full interview with Barkha Dutt in the video below.