Molly-Mae Hague apologises to people 'affected negatively' by comments about poverty
Influencer Molly-Mae Hague has apologised to those who were "affected negatively" by controversial comments she made about poverty and social mobility which provoked an intense backlash.
The former Love Island star, now creative director for fashion brand Pretty Little Thing, came under fire for remarks made in an interview clip in which she said that "you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it".
The 22-year-old was accused of being "tone deaf" after sharing her belief that "if you want something enough, you can achieve it" and referring to a quote saying we all have "the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce."
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Following the backlash which erupted over the remarks, made on Steven Bartlett's The Diary of a CEO podcast, the influencer issued an apology on Monday.
In an Instagram story, she wrote that her comments were "never with malice or ill intent".
"I apologise to the people that have been affected negatively or misunderstood the meaning of what I said in the podcast, the intentions of the podcast were only ever to tell my story and inspire from my own experience."
Video footage of the interview was initially released in December, but a snippet was shared by a user on the social media platform last Wednesday.
It has since been posted tens of thousands of times, with people saying the clip shows the former Love Island star is out of touch with the reality of many people's lives.
One user commented: "We may all have 24 hours in a day, but for some those 24 hours include illness that prevents them from reaching goals, some have issues affording childcare, they're just two examples. "This is tone deaf, some people work so hard just to be able to survive with bare minimum."
Others referred to the widespread allegations that workers making clothes for Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing's owner, were being paid far below minimum wage.
Last year Boohoo management said it was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations made and said it was committed to rebuilding the reputation of the textile manufacturing industry at factories it uses in Leicester.
Defending his guest, Mr Bartlett, who is a judge on the TV show Dragons’ Den, said Hague faced a “double standard” as a young and successful woman and that his male guests did not have to “tip toe” around their successes.
Last week Hague's representatives said in a statement: "This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success. Molly refers to a quote which says 'We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce'. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote. Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life."
The statement added that Molly was not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation.
"She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life," it continued.
"If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her.
"Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as “if you are homeless buy a house” and “if you are poor be poor” these are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation.”
Hague found fame when she coupled up with boxer Tommy Fury on ITV dating show Love Island in 2019 and has gone on to become one of the show’s most recognisable figures.
She experienced social media backlash last year after accepting the job as Pretty Little Thing's creative director - critics accused her of promoting exploitation and fast fashion.