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After becoming the subject of an online hate campaign, Gigi Hadid has defended her controversial impression of the future First Lady, Melania Trump.

Following her impersonation of Donald Trump’s wife at Sunday night’s American Music Awards ceremony in LA, the 21-year-old was branded “racist” by critics who denounced her adoption of an exaggerated European accent in a skit which referenced Michelle Obama’s “stolen” speech.

This morning, the Hilfiger model issued a statement on Twitter claiming her portrayal of Melania was conducted in “good humour and with no bad intent”.

 

TOMORROW! Jay and I host the @AMAs – 8/7c on @abcnetwork #AMAs

A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

In the handwritten note, Gigi explained how she “removed or changed anything in the script that [she] felt took the joke too far”, before stressing her belief that “Melania understands show business”.

“I too have been the centre of a nationally televised comedy skit that poked fun at my actions,” she wrote.  “And [I] was able to find the humour in it.”

“I believe Melania understands show business and the way shows are written and run.”

In her closing statement, the young star apologised to those offended by the performance and insisted she has “only the best wishes for [her] country”.

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Gigi Hadid found herself at the centre of a social media storm this morning when she was hit with a wave of abuse for her impression of Melania Trump.

While hosting the 44th American Music Awards ceremony in LA last night with impression expert Jay Pharoah, the 21-year-old model openly mocked the future First Lady by impersonating Melania’s “face”, adopting an exaggerated European accent and poking fun at the plagiarism accusations waged at Ms Trump after she appeared to borrow parts of a Michelle Obama speech in July.

“I gotta do the face right,” began Zayn Malik’s girlfriend.  “I love my husband, President Barack Obama and our children, Sasha and Malia.”

Members of Gigi’s star-studded audience laughed quietly at her joke, but those watching the event at home were less than amused.

Many took to Twitter to voice their grievances, with some going as far as to suggest that the impression was “racist”.

“Its racist when Trump says illegals should leave, but not when Gigi Hadid makes fun of Melania Trump’s European accent? #DOUBLESTANDARD (sic),” wrote one person.

“Idiot.  If someone did that to Moochelle they’d be called a racist.  Sorry you’re not as pretty as Melania, Gigi,” said another.

Others criticised the Californian for lacking class in choosing to portray Trump’s third wife.

“A model making fun of a model.  Not classy @GiGiHadid, not classy.  Just silly #AMAs #disappointed,” read one Tweet.

While another group focused on comparing Gigi with Melania through tweets like: “Dear @GiGiHadid, @MELANIATRUMP is 100 percent more beautiful and smart than you will ever be.  How dare you, boycott the #AMAs.”

 

Since the controversy surrounding Gigi's performance is still gaining pace, we think it'll be a while before this blows over.

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While much of the hype surrounding last night’s American Music Awards focused on celebrity outfit choices and Melania Trump impressions, Selena Gomez was responsible for injecting a much needed dose of authenticity into the event.

Having cancelled the remainder of her Revival World Tour in August to focus on her health, the Good For You singer gave an emotive speech while accepting the award for ‘Best Female Artist’.

“In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically, 100 percent honest with all of you.  I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not,” the 24-year-old began.

 

Walks through Calgary

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

“I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside,” she continued.  “I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”

“I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram.  I want to see what’s in here [points to chest].  I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore.”

“All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love.”

 

@vogueaustralia  in @louisvuitton @nicolasghesquiere

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Finishing in the same determined manner with which she had begun, the former Disney star said: “I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal and I don’t know what I did to deserve you.”

“If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.  If that’s anything whether you respect me or not that’s one thing you should know about me.  I care about people.  Thank you so much for this.  This is for you.”

Selena’s impassioned words clearly had a moving effect on her star-studded audience, with a camera pan showing Lady Gaga in an almost tearful state.

She has been widely praised online for her honesty.

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