Bela ‘meant no harm’ with controversial FHM cover

Kapuso actress Bela Padilla said she meant no harm with her controversial FHM Philippines magazine cover photo.

In her Twitter account, Bela posted yesterday, February 27: “I meant no harm with this cover. I'm so sorry to everyone who got offended. I hope all of you see the beauty of the cover and appreciate it.”

The controversy first broke when FHM Philippines uploaded the cover of its March issue in their official Facebook page. It showed the faired-skinned Bela in a bikini surrounded by black female models.

The magazine cover also sported the title blurb: “Bela Padilla: Stepping Out of the Shadows.”

Netizens immediately tagged the cover as “racist.”


Two days after the cover was uploaded online, FHM Philippines issued an apology and said its March issue will sport a different cover.

Their statement, which was posted on their website, reads in full:

“On Saturday, February 25, we uploaded the March issue with Bela Padilla on the cover on our Facebook page.

Just hours later, a slew of comments on the supposed "racism" of the cover image and cover line flooded the magazine page, prompting the editorial team to re-examine the cover so that we could put into context its execution and assuage the concerns of our readers and non-readers as well who've weighed in on the issue.

We took all the points into consideration and have decided to take the side of sensitivity.

When FHM hits the stands in March it will have a different cover. We deem this to be the most prudent move in the light of the confusion over the previous cover execution.

We apologize and thank those who have raised their points. We apologize to Bela Padilla for any distress this may have caused her.

In our pursuit to come up with edgier covers, we will strive to be more sensitive next time.”