On the March 2012 cover of FHM Philippines, the country’s top-selling men’s mag, a light-skinned model emerges from a group of black models accompanied by the caption, “Stepping Out of the Shadows.”
According to the New York Times, the photo of swimsuit-clad Filipino actress Bela Padilla immediately met backlash from readers and social media users who argue the photo is racist and insensitive. “Seriously, did you guys not sense how racist this concept was?” writes one user on the magazine’s Facebook page.
The outrage prompted local publisher Summit Media to issue an apology, scrap the edition and promise to print a new cover featuring Padilla. “In our pursuit to come up with edgier covers, we will strive to be more sensitive,” the company, which publishes more than 20 magazines in the Philippines, wrote in its statement.
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