On Tuesday, Gigi Hadid issued the kind of non-apology you give when you're not really all that sorry about what you've done. Hadid has been receiving loads of criticism on social media for the brief Melania Trump impression she did while hosting the AMAs on Sunday night. People have labelled the supermodel a bully, a "mean girl," and a hypocrite for imitating the future first lady's Slovenian accent. Some are even calling for boycotts of Maybelline (for which Hadid is a spokeswoman) and the upcoming Victoria's Secret fashion show (in which she will walk).
Hadid penned a letter explaining the harmless intentions behind the impression and apologizing to anybody she offended. "I was honored to host the AMA's [sic] last night and to work with some of the most respected writers in the business," she wrote. "I removed or changed anything in the script that I felt took the joke too far, and whether or not you choose to see it, what remained was done in good humor and with no bad intent."
Hadid added that she too has been the subject of mockery, and knows how to take it in good humor — and believes Melania will do the same. "I too have been at the center of a nationally televised comedy skit that poked fun at my actions, and was able to find the humor in it. I believe Melania understands show business and the way shows are written and run." After defending her actions, Hadid saved the actual "I'm sorry" part for the last line — but only for the outcome, not the skit itself. "I apologize to anyone that I have offended & have only the best wishes for our country."
The fact that Hadid waited until the end of her note to apologize is telling of the fact she doesn't think she did anything wrong. And whether or not you thought the model's impression was insulting, her letter does a good job of explaining where she was coming from. She also reminds us that she did not write these jokes by herself. (I'm surprised she didn't also mention that her Dutch-American mother, Yolanda, is from a foreign country and has an accent — suggesting that Hadid harbors no ill will toward such people.)
So why say sorry at all? I'm guessing Hadid is smart enough to get ahead of Donald Trump before he begins barraging her with tweets demanding a self-flagellating apology from the 21-year-old. Smart move, Gigi.
Here are some of the more sharply worded tweets criticizing Hadid's impression.