Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia explained their side after their pre-wedding photos became viral when netizens slammed the couple for being "insensitive."
Social media went abuzz over the couple's photos, which were shot in Ethiopia in Africa. Netizens talked about the photos as culturally insensitive and infuriating, because the two were donned in vividly colored outfits while the local women and children were put as background props.
One netizen Rachel Ravena said, "I don't think we should all admire a prenup photoshoot making background props out of Ethiopian women & children. These photos are heartbreaking & enraging at the same time. I understand that prenup photoshoots get so extra these days but to this extent?"
On Sunday, Billy and Coleen explained that it was not their intention to offend anyone, and that they were invited by the Ethiopian Airlines to conduct photoshoots in different tourist spots in the country.
"It was unfortunate how it was taken out of context. It's far from what we intended. We were invited and sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines to do our shoot there for their tourism and capture their natural environment because we were told that tourism helps their economy. That's why we were in Ethiopia," the couple said.
They also explained the inclusion of Ethiopian kids in their photos.
"Yung shot with the kids, actually patapos na kaming mag-shoot noon na kaming dalawa lang and we just needed to get a few shots in, but naaliw 'yung kids and they really wanted to be part of the photo so they kept coming into the frame hanggang sa sinama na."
"We never forced anyone nor wanted to disrespect any race or culture. People in the Philippines felt disrespected and offended, but being there was completely different feeling," they added.
They apologized however to those who got offended with their photoshoot.
"Being public figures, dito kami nagkulang and we admit we could have done better. Kaya, we do apologize for how it might have translated, and we're sorry again to those who have offended."
They also said that the Ethiopia photos are not their final and official prenup photos yet, because they will shoot more in the Philippines.
[Source: MJ Felipe on Twitter]