“She has unashamedly disavowed any responsibility,” Mr. Filler wrote, “let alone concern, for the estimated one thousand laborers who have perished while constructing her project so far. ‘I have nothing do do with it,’ Hadad has claimed. ‘It’s not my duty as an architect to look at it.’”
In the suit, Ms. Hadid’s comments in The Guardian are quoted in their entirety. Speaking generally about worker safety in Qatar, she said, “I have nothing to do with the workers. I think that’s an issue the government – if there’s a problem – should pick up. Hopefully, these things will be resolved.” Pressed to say whether worker deaths in Qatar concerned her, she said yes, but that she was more concerned about deaths in Iraq, where she was born. She added:
I’m not taking it lightly, but I think it’s for the government to look to take care of. It’s not my duty as an architect to look at it. I can make a statement, a personal statement, about the situation with the workers, but I cannot do anything about it because I have no power to do anything about it. I think it’s a problem anywhere in the world. But, as I said, I think there are discrepancies all over the world.
Mr. Filler’s statement reads:
In my review of Rowan Moore’s “Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture,” I quoted comments by the architect Zaha Hadid, who designed the Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar, when she was asked in London in February 2014 about revelations a week earlier in The Guardian that hundreds of migrant laborers had died while working on construction projects in Qatar. I wrote that an “estimated one thousand laborers … have perished while constructing her project thus far.”
However, work did not begin on the site for the Al Wakrah stadium, until two months after Ms. Hadid made those comments; and construction is not scheduled to begin until 2015. There have been no worker deaths on the Al Wakrah proiect and Ms. Hadid’s comments about Qatar that l quoted in the review had nothing to do with the Al Wakrah site or any of her projects.
I regret the error.
Mr. Warshavsky, in a statement, said on Monday:
The decision to file a lawsuit is never one made lightly. Prior to filing the lawsuit, Ms. Hadid carefully considered the issues at stake to her professional career and reputation and came to the conclusion that the filing of the lawsuit was the correct action to take. We are in receipt of Mr. Filler’s retraction issued today and aware of the New York Review of Books’s plan to post it on their website this evening. Ms. Hadid together with counsel are reviewing it now and will respond after further careful consideration.