Em Rata Turns Down Saudi Arabia Influencer Trip Out Of Support Of Women’s & LGBTQ Rights

emily ratajkowski

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski has confirmed that she turned down a promotional trip to Saudi Arabia after the government was outed for paying influencers for content creation in an effort to save the country’s reputation following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

[jwplayer 9XIhCin2]

In an Instagram story that was later posted to Twitter, Emily shared that she would love to visit Saudi Arabia but “had to decline” the offer because she supports the rights of women, the LGBTQI+ community and the freedom of the press.

“I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there,” she said.

All-expenses paid promotional trips like this aren’t exactly rare, with many tourism departments across the world investing in influencer marketing. However, Saudi Arabia has long had a reputation for believing tourism to be un-Islamic, and generally being closed for tourism.

According to Insider, the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October has left many influencers questioning the morality of these partnerships.

Saudi Arabia is aiming to increase tourism to 30 million tourists per year as part of their Vision 2030 program to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and advance the nation as a whole.

But Emily Ratajkowski isn’t the only influencer coming forward about the situation. Model Teddy Quinlivan also shared her story, which has since been reposted by Diet Prada.

View this post on Instagram

What’s worse than an all white @revolve influencer trip? Cashing big fat checks in exchange for #content creation (aka propaganda) to rehabilitate the image of Saudi Arabia, a country said to be causing “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, according to the United Nations. According to anonymous sources, six-figure sums were offered for attendance and geo-tagged posts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Following the government’s pre-meditated murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in October 2018 , the arrest of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul in May 2018, the outing of a gay Saudi journalist and his partner who began receiving death threats from their families (homosexuality is a crime in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death), and countless other human rights abuses, a bevy of supermodels, influencers, celebrities, and musicians convened in Riyadh for the inaugural @mdlbeast . According to @hypebeast , the electronic music festival is “one of the most significant musical events the region has ever seen”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Saudi Arabia has been spending billions to change its image in the west, but this is sure to be the most expensive campaign yet. In a series of Instagram stories posted by transgender model @teddy_quinlivan , it was revealed that fellow model @emrata had turned down the trip, evidently aware of the country’s human rights crisis. “It is very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press. I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there”, said Ratajkowski in a statement to Diet Prada. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, not all shared the same sentiments. There are simply too many attendees to name. Dieters, feel free to tag any attendees you know of… just in case they haven’t been reading the news. • #propoganda #jamalkashoggi #humanrights #humanrightsabuse #lgbtq #lgbtqrights #freespeech #journalism #independent #womensrights #mdlbeast #edm #electronicmusic #supermodel #influencer #content #riyadh #emrata #emilyratajkowski #teddyquinlivan #model #celebrity #dj #electronicmusic #musicfestival #wtf #smh #government #corruption #dietprada

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

Ratajkowski’s statement comes after Nicki Minaj pulled out of the Jeddah World Festival earlier this year after facing backlash for supporting Saudi Arabia.