Pop star Zayn Malik has jumped to the defence of his girlfriend Gigi Hadid, 21, in the midst of a social media race row.
In a Snapchat video shared by her younger sister Bella Hadid, the Victoria's Secret runway star allegedly mocks Asian people by squinting her eyes as a comparison to an edible Buddha. Hadid, 21, was then inundated with racism allegations prompting her singer boyfriend Malik to wade in to shut down the critics.
Pressing Malik for his reaction to the controversy, one fan tweeted: "Being of Asian descent, how do you feel about your girlfriend making fun of Asian people?" The Pillowtalk singer, whose father is British Pakistani, replied: "Trust me.. she likes asians," alongside a wink emoji."
After subsequently receiving backlash himself, the 24-year-old later added: "People's nerve to call me ignorant, when any chance they get I'm a terrorist!! to be a racist goes against my very existence. So please don't try to educate me."
Malik is referring to previous instances where he has been branded a "terrorist", including an incident involving US TV presenter Bill Maher who questioned the singer's whereabouts during the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
Hadid, who is yet to publicly respond to the racism allegations, was involved in another race row in November 2016. The fashionista was criticised for her impression of Melania Trump at the American Music Awards, which saw her mimic the First Lady's Slovenian accent. Hadid apologised for the sketch soon after, stating: "I apologise to anyone that I offended and have only the best wishes for our country.
"I removed or changed anything in the script that I felt took the joke too far, and whether or not you choose to see it, what remained was done in good humour and with no bad intent... I believe Melania understands show business and the way shows are written and run."