Priyanka Chopra T-shirt row: Magazine clarifies the reason

The travel magazine which featured Priyanka Chopra wearing a tank-top with the words ‘refugee’, ‘immigrant’, ‘outsider’ and ‘traveller’ sparking an uproar on social media, has clarified that its idea was to tell the world to stop labelling people.

Priyanka graced the cover of Condé Nast Traveller in a white tank-top with the words ‘refugee’, ‘immigrant’ and ‘outsider’ struck off with a red line, while ‘traveller’ isn’t. The cover received a lot of backlash with some social media users calling the ‘Quantico’ actress ‘insensitive’ and that being a refugee was not a matter of choice.

The travel magazine on issued a statement on Tuesday (Oct. 11) saying that the message on Priyanka’s T-shirt was wrongly interpreted and explained their intention behind the cover.

The official statement read, “At Condé Nast Traveller, we believe that the opening up of borders and the breaking down of walls can help us discover the world, and open up our minds and hearts. So, when we had actor Priyanka Chopra wear a T-shirt we created on the cover of the 6th-anniversary issue, we had a point to make. And it's not about privilege or fashion.

“It’s about how our labelling of people as immigrants, refugees and outsiders is creating a culture of xenophobia. We are allowing thousands of innocent people who are forced to cross borders due to unimaginable terror and atrocities to be treated without humanity and empathy. It’s about how we are allowing some powerful leaders to build barriers that make it more difficult for bright, motivated and hardworking people to see more of the world, learn from it and make it better for us all.

“It’s time we demand better and stand against the building of walls, literal and otherwise. We must demand a world free of racism and bigotry and prejudice so that we—and generations after us—may enjoy all the abundance that travel offers, the beauty of the world that is open and rich and diverse in its people and cultures and geographies. And we must, in the midst of our many differences, find and celebrate our commonalities, our oneness. We must recognise that we are all on a journey. Whether we are moving across oceans or just a few kilometres, or in our mind’s eye, into a completely different world, whether we are doing so due to free will or circumstance—we are all travellers.”

The magazine also revealed their reason for choosing Priyanka for their cover. “And this is why Priyanka Chopra—a star at home and abroad, who has experienced first-hand the opportunities that travel offers—is the perfect ambassador. It’s not about her being a refugee or immigrant or outsider; it’s about her, like us, recognising the power of travel, and joining us in asking everyone to do better for each other,” the statement read.