- An Instagram influencer deleted her account and apologised after saying in a post that she was surprised that someone in a “scammy” Indian city returned her iPhone X.
- The post went viral and was criticised as racist. People sent her violent threats and called for brands to stop working with her.
- Grady said that she’s well versed in Indian culture and that her post was taken out of context.
Instagram influencer Colleen Grady has apologised and deleted her account after making a viral post in which she expressed her surprise that someone in a “scammy” Indian city would return her lost iPhone.
“I am sorry that my words did not give clarity to the intentions in sharing my story. I had no intentions to belittle the Indian culture,” she wrote on her personal website. “The moral of the story was the blessings and gratitude I had for the Indian people who helped me in a moment of panic when losing my phone in a foreign country. I apologise the most for the amount of pure hate that this has pulled out of so many people’s hearts and spread around the world.”
In Grady’s original post, made in December on her account @mindbodycolleen, she said she lost her iPhone X in Jaipur, “one of the most scammy tourist cities in all of India.” She said she didn’t expect to get it back since it’s “worth more money than some people in this country will have in their whole lifetime” and that anyone who found it “probably would not even know what to do with it.”
She then recounted meeting “some stranger in a dark alley to retrieve it,” saying, “All I was thinking was should I have brought my mace?” She said, “miraculously,” an Indian iPhone X owner found her phone and returned it to her without asking for money, “just blessings.”
The post was pilloried on Instagram and Twitter as being racist and ignorant about India’s technological advances. Users also threatened violence and called for brands to stop working with Grady.
I’m a brown person currently working an iPhone X to type this message. If I met Colleen in real life it would shock her so much that she’d stand up the normal way.
— Rob Mahal (@RobMahal) January 4, 2019
Whooooooooa, who knew Indian people could speak English and use a phone?????????
— Wonton (@Wonton_) January 4, 2019
If we see another brand collaborating with racist @mindbodycolleen we will take them down! Are these the values you want to project as a brand? pic.twitter.com/pUgALbtpT2
— Juanny DeVito (@juannydevito) January 2, 2019
Do you realize @mindbodycolleen just posted an epic racist tirade concerning a country who's culture she profits off of appropriating? Doesn't make me want to try your product.
— Chrissy Wojtewicz (@cloudy_chrissy) January 2, 2019
Grady’s mother also recieved threats and deleted her Twitter account.
In her apology, Grady said she’s spent hundreds of hours studying Indian traditions, has volunteered in schools, and lived with a host family in India. Her viral post, she said, misrepresents her views on the country.
“I’m sorry my words were perceived in a way that were so far from my true feelings about this country and the people in it,” she said. “In the future, I will be more aware of my language and how my words are perceived.”
- Read more about influencers and social media:
- Jake Paul and other influencers are promoting ‘mystery boxes’ to their young audiences. Critics say it’s a scam.
- Nearly 90% of Americans think it’s wrong to make money from photos of children on social media
- A TikTok trend is probably why you’ve been hearing the phrase ‘hit or miss’ yelled in public lately
- Instagram is cracking down on its pro-anorexia community
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