Model Bella Hadid is at the centre of a racism row (with the hashtag #BellaHadidisRacist trending) following an Instagram story she posted at the airport.
The supermodel was criticised by Twitter and Instagram users after she shared a picture of her boot against a window to an airport runway, captioned "anotha one" (a pop culture reference to DJ Khaled's motto).
However, a few users called out the post as the planes in the background featured the UAE and Saudi Arabian flags. Some were insulted by the post as showing the sole of your shoe is considered in some parts of Arab culture to be an insult.
Professor Faegheh Shirazi, with Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas, told CNN it is offensive "regardless of the religious practices."
"Throwing a shoe or hitting someone with a shoe or showing the bottom of your shoe when sitting with legs up on a chair and facing another person all are culturally unacceptable and are considered to be a grave insult and belittling to a person," Shirazi said.
Some users reacted by calling for a boycott of brands Hadid has worked with including Fendi, Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. Others attacked her modelling agency IMG Models online.
Vogue Arabia also reported that Dior removed images of Hadid from their social media account and that their own image of their former cover star was full of users calling for them to "stop working with Bella".
The model has since posted a bilingual apology on social media to address the controversy. She said that disappointing her fans "is what hurts [her] the most" and on Twitter said it was an "honest mistake on an early morning", continuing that she was "so sorry".
She explained, "The photo of my shoe on my Story yesterday had NOTHING to do with politics. I promise. I never noticed the planes in the background and that is the truth."
"I would never mean to disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries. I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people."
Shortly prior to the plane photo, Hadid had caused tensions when she posted a screenshot of a New York Times article to an Instagram story.
The article was a response to the current political crisis in Sudan, in which protestors have been calling for an end to a transitional military council and a return to civilian rule following the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir.
The Sudanese military have been criticised after attacking protestors on June 3 which reportedly left at least 30 dead, and has drawn international condemnation - inspiring many social media users to change their icons to blue in support of the Sudanese people.
The article was titled "The Princes Who Want to Destroy Any Hope for Arab Democracy" and included the subheading "Why Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are backing military leaders who kill demonstrators."
Hadid captioned the screenshot, "Outrageous and inhuman. Praying for #sudan"
Vogue Arabia reported that she later took down the story, however she has kept up a post on her Instagram which depicts a woman holding up a "Stay Strong Sudan" sign. Her caption omits any references to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and reads, "It makes my heart so heavy to think about the men and women in Sudan, being beaten, murdered, raped, and oppressed like this...Nobody deserves this kind of torture and we need to show Sudan that we are here for the them and aware of the changes that need to happen."
Hadid appeared to refer to her sharing of the article on social media and said in her statement, "I want to send a sincere apology to those who ever thought I would put blame on them, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This was never the case and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding. I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community."
She also wrote, "I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful & powerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world."
"Not only do I have so much respect from the bottom of my heart, I have always tried to stand up for what I feel is right, especially regarding the Middle East. I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries."
Hadid and her sister Gigi Hadid are the children of Palestinian real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid and Dutch model Yolanda Hadid. The pair appeared to support Hadid on Instagram following the outbreak of the #BellaHadidisRacist hashtag, as yesterday her father wrote in the comments of her latest Instagram post, "I love you baby bella. From my heart. You are pure."
Her mother Yolanda also commented "I love you my sweet angel" at least four times on the same post and has blocked comments on her latest post as on previous ones commenters left the Saudi Arabian and UAE flag emojis.
One user wrote, "It's your second mistake and second apologize! If you really thinks that what you did is wrong why you did it again? I'm sure you apologise because Dior deleted their last posts of you, and you're afraid of more losses. [sic]"
Others posted photos of their own shoes held up against images of Bella Hadid, with one writing, "Sorry I didn't mean that"
Another also tweeted Dior directly and wrote, "I'm never buying anything from Dior until a formal cancelation [sic] is issued on Bella Hadid."
Hadid has not posted again since issuing her statement this morning.