Actors, models and influencers have come under fire on social media for attending a sponsored vacation to Saudi Arabia after Instagram page Diet Prada revealed that attendees of the trip are receiving six-figure sums, in exchange for positive Instagram posts with geotagged locations.
Along with Diet Prada, models Teddy Quinlavin and Emily Ratajkowski have slammed the celebrities on the trip, which has seen Ryan Phillippe, Wilmer Valderrama, Joan Smalls, Armi Hammer, Sofia Richie, Jourdan Dunn and many more attend Riyadh’s inaugural MDL Beast electronic music festival, ignoring the country’s human rights crisis.
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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. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Following the government’s pre-meditated 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”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Saudi Arabia has been spending billions to change its image in the west, but this is sure to be the most expensive campaign yet. In a series of Instagram stories posted by transgender model @teddy_quinlivan , it was revealed that fellow model @emrata had turned down the trip, evidently aware of the country’s human rights crisis. “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. I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there”, said Ratajkowski in a statement to Diet Prada. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, not all shared the same sentiments. There are simply too many attendees to name. Dieters, feel free to tag any attendees you know of… just in case they haven’t been reading the news. • #propoganda #jamalkashoggi #humanrights #humanrightsabuse #lgbtq #lgbtqrights #freespeech #journalism #independent #womensrights #mdlbeast #edm #electronicmusic #supermodel #influencer #content #riyadh #emrata #emilyratajkowski #teddyquinlivan #model #celebrity #dj #electronicmusic #musicfestival #wtf #smh #government #corruption #dietprada
Yesterday, Emily posted: “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. I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there”.
Actor Ryan Phillippe, who is currently in Saudi Arabia on this trip, has lashed out at critics, telling people to “f**k off”, and labelling people losers and morons for questioning him.
Calling it “an awesome place to visit”, Ryan snapped at one commenter: “your country is without fault? Cool. Never known of one”, and arguing that “progress and change take time”.
When another person commented on the lack of human rights in the country, Ryan responded “yes it does. Read something recent”, and told another person “you know nothing. Go see Cats“.
Ryan has continued posting photos from his trip, so we can only expect this mess to continue unfolding.
“Quit virtue signaling, Princess,” he tells another commenter asking how much he’s getting paid for these posts. pic.twitter.com/fliS8XArBr
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) December 22, 2019