The racist allegations about the controversial cover photo of FHM Philippines continue. But its subject, Bela Padilla, reiterates on her interview with BBC World News, "We weren't thinking of harming anyone and we weren't thinking of racial discrimination."

 

Photo: Noel Orsal (Bela)/FHM Philippines (inset)

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?

Bela: "Honestly, I saw the picture before I saw the layout page with the caption. So I was as shocked as everyone when I saw the caption.

"But if the people get to read the article there, then you would understand why FHM chose that caption."

Mishal: "Did you think when you, first of all, saw this, you were surrounded by black models, was there nothing in that thing that makes you think or gave you clues on how would this might end up?"

Bela: "You have to understand that we took the shot because it's my coming of age here in the Philippines.

"I'm an actress here and we're trying to change my image from the younger bracket to an older one.

"So they wanted to me to come into a 'coming of age' sort of article that's why they chose that caption.

"We weren't trying to hurt anyone from the caption."

Mishal also asked Bela about the negative reaction of some people to her controversial cover photo.

The Kapuso actress replied, "First of all, I wanted to say sorry to everyone who's offended by the cover.

"You have to see the article to understand the cover that we shot.

"Honestly, some of those girls were actually Filipinas painted in black, not to represent Africans, but we were really doing that to portray shadows because, like I said, it's my coming of age.

"They wanted a symbolization of me getting out of my old shadow. So, they were all supposed to represent me.

"And we weren't thinking of harming anyone and we weren't thinking of racial discrimination."

Mishal: "Some people might think that it would be more offensive that some people in that shoot, the Filipinas, were painted black."