In July, Paris Jackson noted that she’s bisexual in an Instagram Q&A session, although she pointed out that she has long been open about her attraction to both men and women. Now, the model and LGBTQ+ activist has been called a hypocrite for appearing on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore because homosexuality is still considered a crime in the Asian nation (and punishable by up to two years in prison). Jackson swiftly apologized while also attempting to explain her actions and intent.
Jackson initially posted a photo of the Harper’s cover to Instagram on August 15th, and Gay Star News Entertainment Editor Jamie Tabberer condemned the model in an op-ed. In his article, Tabberer called Jackson’s appearance on the cover “problematic.”
“Put simply, I don’t believe LGBTI allies or LGBTIs should be granting exclusives to publications in such countries,” Tabberer wrote. “I’m sure Paris couldn’t give a damn what I think. But for the record, I’m not trying to trash her. I just want to know if she considers consenting to this cover a mistake.”
It appears that Jackson was listening, because BBC News reported that on August 19th, she tweeted an apology.
She wrote in a followup tweet that, since she’s openly bisexual, she believed her appearance on a magazine in a homophobic country was progress.
Many of Jackson’s fans stood by her.
Hearst, the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, told BBC News that Jackson would also appear on the cover of the magazine in other countries including Poland, Brazil, and Spain.
Tabberer updated his article to reflect Jackson’s statement and also included a comment from Leow Yangfa, the director of Singapore-based LGBTQ nonprofit Oogachaga. Yangfa told Gay Star News that LGBTQ people are often portrayed negatively in the Singaporean media, but he also noted that women and transgender people were exempted from the law criminalizing homosexuality. HuffPost reported in 2015 that the Singaporean government claimed it will not “proactively enforce” this law.
Whether or not you agree with Jackson’s decision to appear on Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, it genuinely seems like she had no intention of hurting the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re glad she swiftly and earnestly addressed any potential hurt she caused.