Adriana Lima is hot water after footage surfaced showing the supermodel saluting the “Grey Wolves,” a Turkish terror group that’s responsible for numerous murders and assassinations and has been labeled as “violent and neo fascist” and “a death squad.” Lima’s defense? She didn’t know what she was doing.
According to The Daily Mail, who talked with Lima’s spokesman, the video was taken at Lima’s gym earlier this summer, when she ran into several Turkish men posing as fans. Under the guise of giving a shoutout to their local gym (this is a thing?), Lima threw out some hand signs, shouted ‘Bozkurtlar’ (which translates to “wolves” in Turkish) and howled at the camera to show her support. But it turns out that what Lima was actually saluting wasn’t a fitness center—because gyms do not have elaborate hand signals and howls, Adriana Lima—but a group that attempted to murder a previous Pope and is behind the deaths of both public figures and civilians.
From The Daily Mail:
Formed in the 1960s, the Grey Wolves - described by experts as violent and neo-fascist - was turned into a ‘death squad’ in the 1970s and have been responsible for hundreds of political assassinations in the past four decades.
In 1981, the group tried to murder Pope John Paul II. The Pope was left critically injured when several shots were fired at him from close range in St Peter’s Square, Rome.
In the late 1970s, the militant group carried out a series of bomb attacks and shootings on public officials, journalists, students, lawyers, left-wing activists and ethnic Kurds.
The video has sparked outrage in Turkey, especially among Kurds, who have been a target of the wolves’ terror in the past. A Kurdish rights campaigner told The Mail that was Lima did was offensive to anyone who’s been under attack by the group and that the hand signals and wolf howl was meant to “show dominance over the Kurds.”
Lima has not yet apologized, but her spokesman has referred to this incident as “abuse of the model’s good will.” When she shot the video, her spokesman says, Lima had no idea of who the wolves were or that anything that she said or did had any political meaning. Lima also didn’t think the video would be broadcast anywhere, which is actually a pretty silly defense in 2015.
While being duped into doing the video isn’t Lima’s fault—being kind to fans is a big part of a celebrity’s job—it’s probably healthy to assume that anything you do on camera if you’re a celebrity will be put on the internet and scrutinized until it’s the only thing that anyone will ever remember about you. There’s no shame in refusing to say words you don’t know on film (or ever, as I learned when I told my teacher to “go fuck herself” in 2nd grade because some friends told me it meant “I love you” in English), and, again: who’s ever heard of a gym with so many salutes?
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