L’Oreal Paris has dropped London-based transgender model, DJ, and activist Munroe Bergdorf from a campaign (above) following a Facebook post she wrote calling out white privilege. The post, Bergdorf explained in a subsequent post, was written in response to the white supremacists in Charlottesville, something not reported by the Daily Mail, which broke the story.
Said Bergdorf in the post (since deleted), which was published in full by the Daily Mail:
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.
“Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.
“Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.
“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.
“Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.”
L’Oreal released a statement and tweeted a shorter version of it: “L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion. We believe that the recent comments by L’Oréal Paris UK Spokesperson Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her.”
L’Oréal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her.
— L'Oréal Paris UK (@LOrealParisUK) September 1, 2017
Bergdorf followed up with a longer post on Facebook, in which she wrote, in part:
If you truly want equality and diversity, you need to actively work to dismantle the source of what created this discrimination and division in the first place. You cannot just simply cash in because you’ve realised there’s a hole in the market and that there is money to be made from people of colour who have darker skin tones.
The irony of all this is that L’Oréal Paris invited me to be part of a beauty campaign that ‘stands for diversity’. The fact that up until very recently, there has been next to no mainstream brands offering makeup for black women and ethnic minorities, is in itself due to racism within the industry. Most big brands did not want to sell to black women. Most big brands did not want to acknowledge that there was a HUGE demographic that was being ignored. Because they did not believe that there was MONEY to be made in selling beauty products to ethnic minorities.
If L’Oreal truly wants to offer empowerment to underrepresented women, then they need to acknowledge THE REASON why these women are underrepresented within the industry in the first place. This reason is discrimination – an action which punches down from a place of social privilege. We need to talk about why women of colour were and still are discriminated against within the industry, not just see them as a source of revenue.
Read her full post:
Additionally, she called for a boycott of L’Oreal Paris:
“Sit still and smile in a beauty campaign ‘championing diversity’. But don’t actually speak about the fact that lack of diversity is due to racism. Or speak about the origins of racism. It’ll cost you your job”.
This makeup brand cares about nothing but MONEY. I urge you to boycot L’Oréal Paris. I can’t express how disappointed I am in the entire team in dealing with misquotes that were entirely placed out of context.