Bela was in a sexy fuchsia bikini and surrounded by black female models. Under the cover was the blurb: “Bela Padilla: Stepping Out of the Shadows.”
On BBC’s Facebook fan page last night, February 28, the International news agency BBC News asked its subscribers whether the allegations of racism was intended on the photograph.
Many comments were posted on Twitter and Facebook.
One twitter user wrote, “DISGUSTING representation of #colorism and #racism in the Philippines!” according to London’s The Telegraph.
Another twiiter user commented, who identified herself as a Filipino American shoe designer, “Shame on FHM Philippines!”
A facebook user Ruth Elias commented: “Definitely racist and offensive. The caption and the body language of the models says it all. They are all submissive.”
Joanna Rimmer also a facebook user commented: “I find it vulgar and yes, rather racist. Sick and tired of seeing women portrayed in this manner.”
More than 300 people signed a petition on Change.org calling for FHM to scrap the shot and apologize.
The petition creator, Victor Bautista commented, “A cover starring Bela Padilla ‘stepping out of the shadows’ would be uncontroversial, if the shadows weren’t black models.”
Bela Padilla apologize, she twitted, “I’m so sorry to everyone who got offended. I hope all of you see the beauty of the cover and appreciate it.” “My cover is supposed to be about stepping out of MY shadows, inhibitions, fears, etc. And has nothing to do with race”.
The magazine’s publisher, Summit Media, said in a statement, “When FHM hits the stands in March it will have a different cover”. “We apologize and thank those who have raised their points. We apologize to Bela Padilla for any distress this may have caused her.”