Gigi Hadid has been savaged on social media over her ‘racist’ impression of Melania Trump during her American Music Awards opening set on Sunday.
The model, 21, put on a fake Eastern European accent and a pulled Melania-style pout to mock the soon-to-be First Lady in the wake of her recent plagiarism row.
‘I love my husband, President Barack Obama. And our children Sasha and Malia,’ Gigi said, in a joke referring to accusations that Donald Trump‘s wife had ripped off a speech by Michelle Obama at the RNC.
The impression was easily the most memorable moment of Gigi’s debut hosting gig, which also saw her try her hand at rapping as well as going through a series of outfit changes.
But the skit, did not sit well with many viewers who criticized it as being ‘racist’ and told Hadid to ‘stick to modeling’.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘I really wish gigi hadid wasn’t hosting because second hand embarrassment is my least favorite thing to feel and i’m drowning in it’. Another chimed in that: ‘Gigi is so uncomfortable to watch.’
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‘Melania Trump is going to the First Lady of the USA. This was the highest form of disrespect possible,’ someone tweeted, while others even demanded that Hadid ‘leave the country’ if she felt that way about the next presidential family.
‘The funny thing is, if Melania was black, she wouldn’t DARE attempt an impersonation,’ tweeted one user, as others branded it an ’embarrassment.’
One Twitter user even tried to get Donald’s attention by tagging him in a tweet that said, ‘Tomorrow morning @realDonaldTrump will tweet demanding Gigi Hadid to apologize for the Melania Trump impression. #AMAs.’
It would be no great surprise, given The Donald used the platform to hit out at the cast of Hamilton for directly addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended a recent performance, which led to him being booed by the audience.
Only yesterday, Trump had tweeted his displeasure after he was taken down on SNL.
The Donald was ruthlessly lampooned in the Saturday Night Live skit, where Alec Baldwin portrayed a clueless President Trump who bullies Pence, asks SIRI about ISIS and holds an awkward meeting with Romney.
Despite having appeared on the show last year, it’s apparent that Trump’s humor is wearing thin with Baldwin’s impression.
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He tweeted after the show: ‘I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?’
Trump has not yet responded to Hadid’s impression of his wife but it is surely only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, all the abuse being leveled at Hadid on Twitter, on Melania’s behalf, is rather ironic, as cyberbullying is the one topic she has pledged to tackle as first lady.
First ladies often choose to highlight issues about which they’re passionate. Most recently, Michelle Obama made nutrition and school lunches her special causes.
Melania said earlier this month, that: ‘Our culture has gotten too mean and too violent. It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.’
However, some critics – including singer Lady Gaga – were quick to note the irony that while Melania stood against bullies, her husband is notorious for his brutal attacks on Twitter.
‘To say u will stand for “anti-bullying” is hypocrisy,’ Gaga tweeted. ‘Your husband is 1 of the most notorious bullies we have ever witnessed.’
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Melania also came under fire in July when she was widely mocked for her speech at the RNC where she appeared to borrow heavily from an address by Michelle Obama at the DNC in 2008.
Trump’s campaign speech writers later confessed to copying and even the 46-year-old’s husband teased Melania about the ‘plagiarized’ speech during a recent charity dinner.
But it appears that the scandal has not yet been put to bed as Hadid’s impression shows.
Back at the American Music Awards, Hadid was also coming under fire for her hosting style.
Twitter user @jackryanfalahee said: ‘i usually like gigi but what is going on tonight… i cant claim her.’
Others used the power of Twitter to mock the beauty’s husky voice.
Gigi Hadid has a beautiful smile, body, eyes, style, attitude but a terrible voice, with @AngelMenciaMSP writing: ‘Gigi Hadid has a beautiful smile, body, eyes, style, attitude but a terrible voice.’
Twitter user @dixonxnegan wrote: ‘Gigi is trying too hard to be funny.’
Hadid is the daughter of Mohamed Hadid, 67, a multi-millionaire who lives with wife Shiva Safai in an incredible, 48,000-square-foot Bel Air mansion, luxuriously named Le Belvédère.
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Mohamed knows a thing or two about luxury. He designed Ritz-Carlton hotels and has developed other high-end properties including resorts and mansions ever since.
However, his daughter is now making money as a successful model in her own right.
While the clotheshorse was criticized by viewers, she was celebrating after her beau Zayn Malik won the coveted New Artist Of The Year award.
Viewers were treated to a host of performances during the evening, with Lady Gaga, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj among the performers.
Justin Bieber was also due to perform, though the pop pixie was appearing via satellite as he was performing on Sunday night in Zurich, Switzerland, as part of his Purpose World Tour.
The American Music Awards are now in their 44th year, with fans able to vote online or via Twitter, with voting for most categories closing on November 14.
Voting for the New Artist Award remains open until the end of the first hour of the awards ceremony.
In 2015, One Direction won Artist Of The Year, Taylor Swift’s Blank Space was named Song Of The Year and Sam Hunt was awarded the Best New Artist prize.