Every now and then, influencers find ways of getting in trouble, and this time, a Dubai-based fitness influencer got a jail term after encouraging UAE residents to head outdoors amid Coronavirus.
Influencer lands in jail after encouraging residents to head outdoors
To put it simply, some influencers are a breed of their own. From licking a toilet seat to illegally climbing the Pyramids of Giza and scamming followers involving millions of bucks, they’d go to the extreme for the sake of gaining followers online.
One of them is Semia Azaiz, an Instagram celebrity known as ‘The Trendy Frenchie’ who creates lifestyle and fitness-themed content on the internet. She came under huge scrutiny after posting a video of herself with a pedestrian encouraging residents to put on their shoes and exercise outside on Instagram Stories. She says:
“I don’t want to make anybody unhappy and I don’t want to take any risk, but what I’m saying is, you don’t have to take part in this campaign. Staying at home, what is this?! Put on your sneakers and go for a run, do whatever you want to do”.Semia ‘The Trendy Frenchie’ Azaiz
Dubai Police arrests her for violating national campaign
Semia posted the video in the wake of the UAE’s nation-wide social-distancing campaign, #StayHome campaign, to combat Coronavirus. Her case has been referred to the Federal Public Prosecution for Information Technology Crimes.
Reebok, one of her brand collaborators, is cutting ties with her
Following her imprisonment, Reebok MENA announced having “suspended all collaborations with her” and “in no way, shape, or form, endorses the activities of The Trendy Frenchie.” They say “her comments are misleading and do not represent the core values or principles that the brand stands for. We encourage the entire community to stay at home and practice social distancing,”
Social distancing a serious initiative in Dubai
More than 240 cases of the novel Coronavirus have been confirmed in the UAE, and Dubai is rolling out huge initiatives to implement social distancing in a bid to combat the outbreak. Recently, Burj Khalia’s facade lit up with a message, #StayHome, followed by the police forcing patrolling around neighbourhoods warning residents to get back home and drones are taking over districts to monitor crowds.
(Featured photograph credit: The Trendy Frenchie)