Model Jessica Leandra loses endorsements after racist rant
She's been stripped of her magazine title and has lost a sponsorship deal
South Africans are seething with anger on social networking site Twitter after a racist tweet by model Jessica Leandra made the rounds.
On Thursday evening, Leandra told her 2,591 followers: “Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful k***** inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have”.
Leandra, who was men’s magazine FHM model of the year in 2011, has since deleted the post and issued an apology on her blog jessicaleandra.com.
“I tweeted rather irresponsibly about an incident I encountered, using a harsh and unkind word about the gentleman who had confronted me with sexual remarks and sounds,” she wrote in her apology.
“While most of you would enjoy the opportunity to throw a few vicious words at me, please do understand that I was acting in pure anger and frustration at the time and although we know this is no excuse, it is a lesson learnt and again, I am sincerely apologetic.”
FHM South Africa took to Twitter to voice its distaste at Leandra’s comment.
“We’re horrified any1 would say such things! Those attitudes have no place in society or FHM!”
The magazine’s editor Brendan Cooper, in a statement on the FHM website, said Leandra had been stripped of her title as winner of the FHM Modelbook 2011 competition with immediate effect.
“It’s important to us that it is noted that she in no way represents the magazine; she was merely the winner of an online poll we ran, and that we totally distance ourselves from her blatantly racist comments.
“We have removed all pictures of her from our website and will have nothing to do with her in future.”
QuickTrim SA, one of her sponsors, tweeted: “Due to the severity of the remarks by #JessicaLeandra #QuickTrimSA herewith ends our sponsorship to her with immediate effect!”
There may be further repercussions: Columnist Mabine Seabe tweeted that he had lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.
“I have lodged a complaint against Jessica Leandra with the Human Rights Commission on the basis of crimen injuria and libel. #DownWithRacism.
“SAHRC acknowledges my complaint against Jessica Leandra.”