An influencer with over 1 million followers was dropped by brands after a racist voice memo leaked

·3 min read
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Fyza said she had "taken a step back and reflected on my act of racism during a moment of anger."KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/Getty Images
  • Leaked audio of a popular Instagram influencer using racial slurs went viral earlier this week.

  • Fyza Ali, who is known as a Kylie Jenner look-a-like, has since apologized via Instagram.

  • 29-year-old Fyza and sister Sonia, 26, have 1.3 million followers on their joint Instagram account.

An Instagram influencer has apologized after a voice memo in which she used racist slurs went viral earlier this week. Fyza Ali, who is based in the UK, said she would be taking a social media break in light of the incident.

According to the Daily Mail, 29-year-old Ali grew up in Birmingham before moving to Dubai along with her 26-year-old sister Sonia Ali. The pair share an Instagram account, "SoniaxFyza," where they share fashion and lifestyle content to their 1.3 million followers. Fyza and Sonia, who are of Pakistani descent, are often referred to as look-a-likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian respectively, although they told Refinery29 any likeness was unintentional and down to a "Middle Eastern look."

A video, which appeared to be a screen-recording of a Snapchat voice mome sent by an account under the handle SoniaxFyza, started to circulate on November 21.

The voice memo featured what appears to be Fyza's voice making a number of anti-Asian comments, using racial slurs, threatening violence, and using offensive language and expletives to refer to the recipient.

In an Instagram story posted to the influencers' account on Thursday, a statement attributed to Fyza said she had "taken a step back and reflected on my act of racism during a moment of anger."

In the statement, Fyza asked people to "understand" that she was struggling following the death of her mother, which she said led to her not realizing the widespread "impact" of her "disgusting comments." She continued, "I sincerely apologize to her as a human being, as a woman and The Pakistani community I have offended."

Fyza also posted a video message to the pair's Instagram page.

"I'm admitting 100% to my mistakes," she said.

"What I said, what she said to me could have been said by any nationality, but I attacked her simply because of anger. That is weak and no excuse for racism. As a human being I'm admitting to my mistakes, I was racist towards this girl. I'm sorry, to her, her family that's been affected her friends, people who love her, and also the people that I affected who supported me."

Fyza and Sonia did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

After the leaked voice memo, three brands the pair had previously worked with — Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, and Shein — reportedly told The Sun they would not be collaborating with Fyza moving forward.

The Daily Mail reported that Fyza also appeared to respond earlier this week on the joint Instagram account. According to the outlet, a statement posted to an Instagram story entitled "unapologetic," read, "I won't apologize for defending myself in anger because I simply had enough."

These purported posts are no longer available to view on the account.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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