Emily Ratajkowski turns down a paid appearance in Saudi Arabia citing the human rights violations happening in the Middle East.
She recently refused a “six-figure” paycheck which she was being paid for her appearance at the MDL Beast Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“It is very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press,” Emily said to a fashion Instagram page, Diet Prada. “I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there.”
MDL Beast Festival featured a number of celebrities including, Irina Shayk, Ryan Phillippe, Luka Sabbat, Winnie Harlow, Sofi Richie, Joan Smalls, Armie Hammer, and Alessandra Ambrosia.
“What’s worse than an all-white @revolve influencer trip? Cashing big fat checks in exchange for #content creation (aka propaganda) to rehabilitate the image of Saudi Arabia, a country said to be causing ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,’ according to the United Nations. According to anonymous sources, six-figure sums were offered for attendance and geo-tagged posts,” Diet Prada wrote in its Instagram post.
The post continues, Following the government’s premeditated murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in October 2018, the arrest of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul in May 2018, the outing of a gay Saudi journalist and his partner who began receiving death threats from their families (homosexuality is a crime in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death), and countless other human rights abuses, a bevy of supermodels, influencers, celebrities, and musicians convened in Riyadh for the inaugural @mdlbeast. According to @hypebeast, the electronic music festival is “one of the most significant musical events the region has ever seen”.
According to a report in AP, at Riyadh airport, a booth welcomed tourists with pamphlets on etiquette in Saudi Arabia, labeled “Our Code of Conduct”.
“Both men and women are asked to dress modestly in public, avoiding tight-fitting clothing,” it explained. “Women should cover their shoulders and knees in public.”
Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj pulled out of performing in the kingdom earlier this year over concerns about women’s rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.