Dalai Lama Issues Apology On His Sexist Remark Over Woman Successor
In an interview with the BBC last month, the Tibetan spiritual leader made a controversial remark that his woman successor should be ‘attractive’. This statement caused a lot of furore and now Dalai Lama has now apologised for his comments.
‘Attractive’ Female Successor Remark
While responding to a question about whether his successor could be a woman, he suggested that the female must be attractive. “Otherwise, it is not much use.”
His comments raised many eyebrows, and he was attacked with a lot of criticism for his comment. He had made a similar remark in 2015 as well.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the Nobel laureate said he did not mean to offend anyone, and the remark was made jokingly.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) July 2, 2019
The statement also mentioned that the original context of his referring to the appearance of a female successor was an interview with the then Paris Editor of Vogue magazine in 1992. “She asked if a future Dalai Lama could be a woman. His Holiness replied, ‘Certainly if that would be more helpful, adding, as a joke, that she should be attractive. He was at least partially responding to the unfamiliar ambience of working with a team whose prime focus was the world of high fashion,” read the statement
“He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies,” a statement issued by the Dalai Lama’s office read.
The statement added, as a clarification, that sometimes, a remark which might be amusing in one cultural context, may lose humour in translation.
Dalai Lama also mentioned in the statement that he strictly opposed the objectification of women and supported women and their rights.
The statement further read that Dalai Lama, all his life has opposed the objectification of women and has celebrated the growing international consensus in support of gender equality and respect for women.
Refugee Crisis ‘Misinterpreted’
Speaking about the refugee crisis in Europe, Dalai Lama said that “many who leave their countries may not wish or able to return”. He suggested that Europe should only allow a limited number of refugees to stay, and look at sending them to their land.
The statement also quoted Dalai Lama’s op-ed piece which he wrote for Washington Times in 2016 where he said that being a refugee himself, Dalai Lama feels strong empathy towards the refugees. It also added that he understood the ‘fears’ of host nations who may feel overwhelmed.
Referring to the BBC interview, his office said that Dalai Lama’s views on the refugee crisis in Europe “may have been misinterpreted”.
However, the statement said that there is no apology for his remarks on Trump who, he said, had a “lack of moral principle.”