FHM Philippines's March 2012 cover created quite a stir last weekend when its cover photo was uploaded on the magazine's Facebook page.
Most people reacted, tagging the cover photo of GMA-7 star Bela Padilla as "racist."
The photo showed Bela, who was clad in a sexy fuschia bikini, being surrounded by black female models.
Below the cover was the blurb: "Bela Padilla: Stepping Out Of The Shadows."
The young Kapuso actress was quick to explain the cover's concept on her Twitter.
Yesterday, February 26, she tweeted, "I meant no harm with this cover. I'm so sorry to everyone who got offended. I hope all of you see the beauty of the cover and appreciate it"
She also explained the rationale behind the blurb:
"The concept of my @FHMPhil cover was stepping out of MY inhibitions MY fears and MY shadows. Not belittling any race. :)
"The title provided by @FHMPhil is in connection with the article and has NOTHING to do with skin colors.
"The girls on my cover Of @FHMPhil symbolize the different sides of ME that I have outgrown and am ready to step out of. Let's be open minded."
FHM CHANGES COVER PHOTO. The comments had the editorial of FHM giving the cover a second look.
In the end, they "decided to take the side of sensitivity," and are now changing the cover photo.
Here's the full statement of FHM Philippines released on February 27:
On Saturday, February 25, we uploaded the March issue with Bela Padilla on the cover on our Facebook page.
Just hours later, a slew of comments on the supposed "racism" of the cover image and cover line flooded the magazine page, prompting the editorial team to re-examine the cover so that we could put into context its execution and assuage the concerns of our readers and non-readers as well who've weighed in on the issue.
We took all the points into consideration and have decided to take the side of sensitivity.
When FHM hits the stands in March it will have a different cover. We deem this to be the most prudent move in the light of the confusion over the previous cover execution.
We apologize and thank those who have raised their points. We apologize to Bela Padilla for any distress this may have caused her.
In our pursuit to come up with edgier covers, we will strive to be more sensitive next time.