Priyanka Chopra Apologizes for Wearing Controversial T-Shirt on Condé Nast Traveller India Cover 

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Priyanka Chopra found herself at the center of a heated debate regarding the plight of refugees when she appeared on the cover of Condé Nast Traveller India’s Oct./Nov. issue wearing what some considered to be an offensive T-shirt. Now, the Quantico actress is offering an apology while attempting to explain the cover’s goal, however misguided.

For the magazine’s latest issue, the 34-year-old actress posed on a balcony in a white tank top with the words “refugee,” “immigrant” and “outsider” crossed out in red, leaving the word “traveler.” Upon publication, the shirt was criticized for making light of Syrian refugee crisis and offering a “privileged” perspective on travel.

Speaking with NDTV, Chopra offered her apology, confessing that the blowback from the cover has been painful for her.

“I’m really, really apologetic about the fact that so many sentiments were hurt…I felt really, really horrible. I think…that was never the intention,” she said.

Priyanka Chopra Poses for Condé Nast Traveller
CREDIT: Anders Overgaard/Condé Nast Traveller

Chopra went on to defend the cover, saying it was addressing xenophobia and trying to do away with words that cast displaced individuals in an unfavorable light.

“It was misconstrued. The point that the magazine wanted to make was actually something good, saying that people are moved out of their countries because they’re thrown out of their homes, literally, and they’re looked at—whether it’s Europe, whether it is America, anywhere in the world—they’re looked at very differently,” Chopra explained. “It was not their choice to have moved out. Whether I come from another country and I’m in America, I’m an outsider, or an immigrant. But the boxes—politically, these words have been used so much to berate people, to put them in a box, to profile them. And the magazine’s idea was to break that, basically. That’s what I went with. This was the magazine’s idea.”

Condé Nast Traveller also shared a statement on the polarizing cover image:

“We believe that the opening up of borders and the breaking down of walls can help us discover the world, and open up our minds and hearts. So, when we had actress Priyanka Chopra wear a T-shirt we created on the cover of our sixth anniversary issue, we had a point to make. And it’s not about privilege or fashion.”