Budget airline easyJet has apologized over an offensive fashion spread published in the November issue of its in-flight easyJet traveller magazine that saw models pose against the backdrop of the Berlin Holocaust memorial.
Now withdrawn, the eight photos - part of a special about the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall - showed designer-clad models walking through the concrete slabs of the memorial designed by Peter Eisenmann. Matters were made even more delicate through the particularly 'Aryan' appearance of the male model.
An accompanying article read: "Ravaged by war and torn in two by conflicting ideologies, Berlin may not be a picture-perfect jewel [...] but it's a treasure trove for the culture vulture [...] no visit would be complete without exploring the testaments to the city's turbulent past, such as [...] the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust memorial."
A spokesperson for the memorial confirmed to Relaxnews that the production team for the fashion shoot failed to contact them before going ahead.
Easyjet authorities, who apparently weren't aware of the pictures until they were published and distributed the magazine on flights to Tel Aviv among others, has apologized for the incident in the UK publication New Statesman - which first dug out the pictures - and is reportedly considering to drop the magazine's publisher INK.
INK also formally apologized and issued a statement saying that the shoot was "intended to not only promote local design talent and the city itself, but to raise awareness of local places of import and interest," while admitting that it had been a "clear lapse of judgement."
One of the pictures in question can be viewed at traveller.easyjet.com/images/2009/nov/05.jpg.
Fashion shoots are known to push limits but in recent years, a number of cases have caused larger-scale controversy than just your usual Terry Richardson campaign. Examples include a production inspired by the terrorist prison camp Abu Ghraib that appeared in Italian Vogue in 2006, models posing in the debris of the Sichuan earthquake in New Travel Weekly last year (the publication has since closed), and a French Vogue spread from October that depicted Dutch model Lara Stone in black paint, meant to represent an 'ethnic woman.'Reuse content