An Instagram celebrity is coming under harsh criticism after sharing a video rant about new laws improving the rights of domestic workers.
Sondos Alqattan, a Kuwaiti makeup artist, shared her outrage around new legislation allowing maids to take one day off each week and to keep their passports in their own possession.
The labor laws were introduced to protect the rights of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait, but Alqattan isn’t a fan.
“How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with them?” asked Alqattan in a video that has since been removed. “What’s worse is they have one day off every week… If they run away and go back to their country, who will refund me? Honestly I disagree with this law. I don’t want a Filipino maid any more.”
Seated in her luxury car ranting to her more than 2.3 million followers, the beauty blogger sparked outrage in the Philippines and Middle East.
Migrante International, a Filipino advocacy group, likened Alqattan’s comments to those of a “slave owner” with an outlook “that literally belongs to the dark ages.” The group is calling on the social media star to publicly apologize for her demeaning comments.
The agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait came after months of strained relations. In February there was a temporary ban on Filipino workers traveling to Kuwait after a domestic worker was found dismembered in the freezer of a flat.
The agreement was signed to eliminate tension and improve the human rights of Filipino workers in Kuwait.
As for Alqattan, two major beauty brands have ended their contracts with her as a result of her rant. She continues to defend her position, sharing a follow-up post addressing the “rumors.”
Thank you for sharing your concerns, we’ve decided to remove the video sponsored by Sondos on our channels. We believe that decent working conditions should be provided to everyone and such behavior does not represent our brand’s core beliefs.
— Chelsea Beautique (@ChelseaBeautiqu) July 21, 2018
She has since disabled comments on her social media accounts.
The outrage continues as people call for other high-profile brands that sponsor the influencer — most notably Max Factor and MAC Cosmetics — to cancel their contracts.
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