The South Sudanese-Australian model took to Instagram to call out the publication, Australia’s Who Magazine, writing, “This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances.”
In the post, she describes that the interview with the publication was about how refugees and people of color are viewed. She added, “With the article, they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl.”
The photo the magazine published was of model Flavia Lazarus, which took up almost an entire page.
“The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologize for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client, the City of Melbourne,” a spokeswoman for Who Magazine said via email, per Australia’s The Age.
Who Magazine added that it “sincerely apologizes” to both models for the mistake, which it says was the responsibility of the “agency that set up our interview,” according to The Age. “We are committed to increasing the diversity in the pages of WHO ... Hopefully the result of our misprint will be more people talking about this issue in the industry and tackling it head-on.”
In her post, Akech said that “this would’ve not happened to a white model.” She continued, “I’ve been called by the name of another model who happens to be of the same ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful towards both of us simply because we know that this doesn’t happen with white models.”