UNICEF goodwill ambassador resigns after offensive tweet
23 June 2014, 14:33
Bogota -Dutch actress Nicolette Van Dam resigned as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador Thursday, after a scandal erupted over her tweet of a doctored photo appearing to depict two Colombian football players snorting cocaine.
"Ms. Van Dam resigned as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and regrets the message forwarded yesterday," UNICEF's Colombia office posted on its own Twitter page.
In a statement, the organization also offered its "most sincere apologies" to Colombian footballers Radamel Falcao Garcia and James Rodriguez, who were in the photo, for "the shameful and offensive post" from Van Dam.
Colombia had earlier demanded UNICEF sack the actress and model over the tweeted photo, in which the two players are prostrate on the football pitch and appear to snort the spray that World Cup referees are using to draw lines at free kicks, as if it were a line of cocaine.
Under the photo, in Dutch, were the words "Colombiaans Muurtje" -- Colombian Wall.
"The lady has crossed the line," Bogota's UN ambassador Maria Emma Mejia told Colombian radio.
The tweet, posted on Wednesday, has been deleted. It sparked outrage from Bogota and a torrent of indignation despite a new tweet in which Van Dam asked Colombians to accept her "sincere apologies."
Colombia, is one of the world's top producers of cocaine and coca, the leaf from which the narcotic is made.