SUPERMODEL Gigi Hadid has been accused of racism for impersonating Melania Trump at an awards ceremony.
The 21-year-old actress tried to mimic former model Mrs Trump, who is Slovenian, as she hosted the star-studded American Music Awards on Sunday.
But viewers branded Miss Hadid’s performance, in which she attempted an Eastern European accent and screwed up her face into an exaggerated pout, “petty” and “biased”.
Alluding to claims Mrs Trump plagiarised lines from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, the model said: “I love my husband, President Barack Obama, and our children, Sasha and Malia”.
Facing a muted audience, she said she had been practising all week to get Mrs Trump’s “face right”, while her co-host, Saturday Night Live comic Jay Pharoah, immediately claimed the impression was “spot on”.
However, Miss Hadid’s perfomance was immediately criticised by social media users, with some even vowing to boycott Maybelline makeup products, for whom she models.
One Twitter poster wrote: "Remember kids, you can only denigrate women and mock immigrants if you are progressive."
Another asked: "Hey, isn’t it “racist” to make fun of an immigrant’s accent?’, while one viewer said: ‘Her imitation of Melania Trump was like a mean girl in high school. Disgraceful."
However, the incident was only the latest in a series of spats between Donald Trump’s circle and the Left- leaning media. In Mr Trump’s firing line this week was satirical sketch show Saturday Night Live, which he criticised for being one-sided, biased and not funny.
The night before, actor Alec Baldwin had portrayed Trump as searching the internet for the words: ‘What is ISIS?’. The President-elect also waded into a row at the weekend with the cast of a Broadway musical after the actors criticised his future vice-president Mike Pence from the stage. Mr Pence was also booed by the audience at the hit play, Hamilton, on Friday.
Defending Mr Pence on Twitter, Mr Trump wrote on Sunday: 'The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behaviour’. Also on Twitter, he wrote the day before: "The theatre must always be a safe and special place. This should not happen! The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!"
And speaking of apologies, Gigi took to Twitter today, to post one of her own, saying the joke was done “with no bad intent”.