Molly-Mae Hague has denied she was “commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation” after facing criticism over remarks she made about her background and privilege.
The former Love Island contestant, 22, said in an episode of the Diary Of A CEO podcast, released last month, that “you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it”.
Hague, who is creative director of fast fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing, said the statement was “technically” correct and that she had “worked her arse off” for her wealth.
After a short clip from the interview went viral on Twitter this week, she was described by some on the social media platform as “tone deaf” and “Thatcherite”.
Addressing the controversy in a statement, Hague’s representatives said: “If you listen to the full conversation and interview, Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself.
“This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success. Molly refers to a quote which says ‘We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce’. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.
“Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation. She can only speak of her own experience.”
Hague’s representatives said she acknowledges “everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds” but her comments were “in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life”.
The statement continued: “Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as ‘if you are homeless buy a house’ and ‘if you are poor be poor’.
“These are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation.”
Hague made the comments on the podcast of entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, who is a judge on the TV show Dragons’ Den.
He said she faced a “double standard” as a young and successful woman and that his male guests did not have to “tip toe” around their successes.
He wrote on Twitter: “Molly Mae did an interview on my podcast, yesterday a soundbite from that interview went viral, she trended No.1 on Twitter, every newspaper covered it and MPs weighed in.
“I’ve had male guests say what she said. No one cared. But when Molly says it, she’s crucified? Crazy.
“I’ve become very aware of the double standard that successful women face. If I interview a man, he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars?
“If I interview a successful women, she’s got to tip toe around her success and watch her words? Gender issues aside, the standard we hold Molly Mae to as a 22 year-old that’s figuring out the world is absolutely outrageous.”
Hague found fame when she coupled up with boxer Tommy Fury on ITV dating show Love Island in 2019 and has gone on to become one of the show’s most recognisable figures.
Her role with PrettyLittleThing is reported to come with a seven-figure salary.