Bela Padilla's controversial cover photo for the March 2012 issue of FHM Philippines continues to become a hot topic that it has now reached international headlines.
The cover photo, which was immediately recalled by FHM Philippines, showed Bela clad in a sexy fuschia bikini and being surrounded by "black" female models.
Below the cover was the blurb: "Bela Padilla: Stepping Out Of The Shadows."
International news agency BBC News picked up the ongoing debate and asked its subscribers whether the allegations of racism was intended on the photograph.
This was posted on BBC's Facebook fan page last night, February 28.
Like what happened on FHM Philippines' Facebook page last weekend, the BBC post was also swarmed by different opinions from its subscribers.
Facebook user Ruth Elias commented: "Definitely racist and offensive. The caption and the body language of the models says it all. They are all submissive."
Joanna Rimmer also posted a similar opinion: "I find it vulgar and yes, rather racist. Sick and tired of seeing women portrayed in this manner."
NO INTENTION TO DISCRIMINATE. However, in her interview with BBC News' Mishal Husain, Bela reiterated that the picture has no intention of discriminating any race.
The GMA-7 talent said, "I don't really have any idea that I would get such negative reaction.
"But I was proud with the cover we did because racism was totally out of our heads.
"So I didn't expect that we'd get negative feedback from it because we had no intention of discriminating anyone anyway."
Bela's interview was broadcast live last night, February 28, on BBC's Impact.
Here is an excerpt of that interview:
Mishal: "When you saw that picture of you and the black model behind you and 'stepping out of the shadows,' it didn't ring any alarm bells to you?