The BBC offered an apology to Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid after she cut short an interview with BBC Radio 4 over questions about a stadium she designed for Qatar and her abandoned Tokyo project.
"We’re sorry if she feels the programme has treated her badly," the BBC said, according to The Guardian. "It’s something we regret."
Hadid was first questioned over reported sub-par conditions for workers and worker deaths at her World Cup stadium project in Qatar.
"It is absolutely untrue; there are no deaths on our site whatsoever. I sued someone in the press for it. You should check your facts," Hadid responded, the Guardian reported.
It has widely been reported in the media and by human rights groups that 1,200 foreign workers have died in Qatar since 2010, as the nation builds infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. However, there is no evidence that any of these deaths have occurred on Hadid's site. The Qatari government has denied the high number of deaths and has maintained that no deaths have occurred on Hadid's site.
Following the Qatar question, the interviewer asked about Hadid's abandonment of the stadium project she designed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Reports have suggested that the project was scrapped due to rising costs and lack of a construction company willing to work on the stadium.
"I didn’t pull out of the Japanese project," Hadid responded. "It’s a very serious story. It’s a scandal. We won this competition three years ago, it was an international competition entered by many Japanese architects and we won it …"
The interviewer then interrupted and asked Hadid to respond directly to allegations that Japan's prime minister had dropped the project due to high costs. But Hadid wasn't having it.
"Don’t ask me a question if you don’t want [me] to answer. Let’s stop this conversation right now," she replied and the interview was over.
Hadid just made history for being the first woman ever to receive the prestigious Riba Royal Gold Medial architecture award. Hadid was born in Baghdad and moved to the United Kingdom to study architecture. In the intervening years she has become one of the most sought after architects in the entire world.