In partnership with

Reactions to model's racist tweet

2012-05-07 11:40
Jessica Leandra
Model Jessica Leandra dos Santos posted this on her Twitter page last week:

"Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful kaffir inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have".

This tweet led to a massive outcry from Twitter users and it was widely reported on in the media. After what some call an insincere apology, Jessica Leandra was stripped of her FHM Model title and Quick Trim SA immediately ended their sponsorship of the 20-year-old blonde model.

We asked Channel24 readers for their opinion on the story as well as the way FHM and Quick Trim SA responded to the incident.


Many said FHM absolutely did the right thing by stripping Jessica Leandra of her title.

"I think that it was admirable that the company (FHM) acted so quickly against such a racist comment. There was nothing to wait and consider. The tweet was published and the intent was clear. Well done to a company with clear ethics and fast response," wrote Joe Aspinall.

Mbali Mwandla applauded FHM as well, saying: "Thank you FHM for stripping her of the title and Quicktrim SA the sponsorship. She deserves it. Should teach her a lesson. Sies man, disgusting. Forever loving FHM fan from now on for standing your ground."

However, Rui dos Santos (who claims he is not related to Jessica Leandra) is disappointed in the magazine.

He wrote: "I think it's indicative of a company (FHM) in this day and age of financial extortion, to kiss her ass because of the money it rakes in for their magazine, and then kick her ass when they feel that she may cost them money.

"The best they could have done was reprimand her publicly for a foolish comment and let that be the end of it. Instead they look to strengthen their brand in a guise of a champion of racial understanding and strip her of any self worth she had left after parading around in a bikini in their magazine. My friend the idiot is still my friend they should say. No Less of an idiot, but no less my friend. 

"Don't forget that this is a swimsuit model who is 20 years old. A foolish kid at best. Not a champion of human rights. Everyone makes mistakes but the one who made the biggest mistake is FHM. A financial opportunist in reality, a beacon of hope to the downtrodden only in a fairytale."

JK Motadi said that while he is shocked that Jessica Leandra could be so "stupid", "I don't think she deserves to have her title taken.

"Community work and a national apology could have been fine."

Kevin Chladek thinks Twitter is personal, and she shouldn't get "nailed for something that has nothing to do with work".

What about the sexual harassment?

Some readers feel the racism issue has overshadowed the sexual harassment Jessica Leandra spoke of in her tweet.

"While I am in complete agreement that the steps against her are appropriate, and that she had no right to use or even think the words she used, what strikes me too is that there is no outcry over the alleged sexual harassment on her person by the person she aimed the k-word at, and I think that harassment (if true) is an equally objectionable act that goes against all women, just like her objectionable language hurts the majority of our population," says P Zaayman.

Lynette Nel thinks her apology is genuine and she made a mistake. "I do believe that a young woman with particularly good looks often has to defend herself from sexual advances and anyone can make a mistake and become angry at this type of incident.  Who gives any man the right to make offensive remarks to someone he does not even know!"


Dipako Papo wants this to go to court. "I believe that since there is evidence of what she wrote, she must be charged in the court of law for defying the rights of blacks as that means that's the way she sees us (Blacks); We all have equal rights and the right to dignity belongs to all of us and no one, and I mean no one has the right to take that away from us."

Thanks to all our readers for their responses. Send yours off to us now!

Read more on:    fhm publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.