Model is shocked by Czech racists' response to him, incident now an international embarrassment
The scandal of racist commentaries being posted to Facebook in response to the international Lidl retail chain's use of a black model in an advertising flier in the Czech Republic has drawn media attention in many European countries including Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. The news has reached the model himself, who lives in Hamburg, Germany.
"Such a reaction in the year 2017 is shocking," 24-year-old Alpha Dia, who was born in Senegal, said in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The model said he shuddered to think that fears about the extinction of the "white race", which are apparently held by many Czechs, might also be held by some Germans and other nations.
Dia said that while nothing of the sort has ever happened before during his work career while he has been in contact with Czech colleagues, he does grapple with prejudices in everday life because of his origin. "In recent years one has had to face unpleasant looks from people on the train more and more frequently or hear silly remarks," the model said.
He also acknowledged that black models encounter problems from time to time because some firms obviously want to defend themselves against public censure and therefore prefer to choose white models only for their advertising. "The darker the person, the more difficult it just is," Dia said, adding that he personally has been more successful in Milan or Paris than in Germany.
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