Adut Akech accuses magazine of racism as they misidentify her in spread

Adut Akech

Adut Akech has accused Australia's Who Magazine of racism after they accidentally published a picture of "another black girl" alongside an interview with her.

The 19-year-old South Sudanese-Australian model shared a picture of the spread, which featured an image of Flavia Lazarus instead of her, on her Instagram page, and told her followers that she was left "insulted and disrespected" by the error.

"For those who are not aware, last week @whomagazine (Australia) published a feature article about me," she wrote. "In the interview I spoke about how people view refugees and peoples attitude to colour in general. With the article they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl.

"This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances."

Continuing to tell her followers that the misidentification is "not okay", Adut added: "By this happening I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same. I feel as though this would've not happened to a white model."

Insisting she doesn't intend to "bash" the publication, and explaining editors had "apologised" to her directly, Adut explained: "This has deeply affected me and we need to start an important conversation that needs to happen. I'm sure that I'm not the first person that's experienced this and it needs to stop. I've been called by the name of another models who happens to be of the same ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful towards both of us simply because we know that this doesn't happen with white models."

The error occurred after PR film OPR, which also set up the interview, sent a file of images to the magazine - leading to the incorrect one being used.

Who Magazine said in a statement: "Who spoke directly with Adut to explain how the error occurred and have sincerely apologised. We also apologise to Flavia Lazarus for the misprint.

"We are committed to increasing the diversity in the pages of Who, and arranged the interview in view of this. Hopefully the result of our misprint will be more people talking about this issue in the industry and tackling it head-on."

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