The students' union at Kent University has come under fire after naming Zayn Malik as a focal point of their Black History Month celebrations.

The ex-One Direction star was born in Bradford and is of Pakistani heritage – but isn't black and has no African or Caribbean family members, which has led to criticism online that eventually forced Kent Union into an apology for "not getting it right".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – who like Zayn Malik is also of Pakistani heritage – was also featured in the Kent Union campaign, which began online earlier this week.

Kent Union has apologised after an online backlash.

Zayn BHM poster

In a statement released on Twitter, the official UK organisers for Black History Month said:

"We're deeply disappointed at @KentUnion's ill thought out and misdirected Black History Month celebrations.

With Asian Heritage Month being observed by a growing number of countries in May, will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University then?"

Kent Union president Rory Murray has apologised for the mistake and said the decision to make Zayn a face of their celebrations was done under the aim to "recognise and celebrate the immense contributions that people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage make to humanity".

I guess no one is happy to celebrate Zayn's contribution to humanity just yet, either.

[via BBC News]