L'Oreal Fires Transgender Model After Facebook Comments About White Supremacy
Munroe Bergdorf says her quotes were taken out of context and calls out the beauty brand for failing to recognize "racism within the industry."
Trans woman Munroe Bergdorf, who was recently cast in a L'Oreal U.K. campaign that celebrated diversity, has been dropped by the makeup giant after writing a now-deleted Facebook post that called on white people "to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth."
It all started after Daily Mail published an article about Bergdorf's note, which was posted in response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. According to the Daily Mail, one part of the post read: "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***."
After the story was published, social media users expressed anger with L'Oreal U.K. for hiring a "racist" and threatened to boycott the brand until she was fired.
By Friday morning, L'Oreal U.K. announced via Twitter that the company would be ending it's partnership with Bergdorf. The beauty brand also faced backlash for its decision, with one Twitter user responding, "How can you claim to champion diversity and then fire her for speaking out against systemic racism??"
L’Oreal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her.— L'Oreal Paris UK (@LOrealParisUK) September 1, 2017
Following L'Oreal U.K.'s decision, Bergdorf took to Facebook to issue a statement.
"First up, let's put my words in context, as the Daily Mail failed to do so. This 'rant' was a direct response to the violence of WHITE SUPREMACISTS in Charlottesville. It was not written this week," she started her statement.
Bergdorf continued: "Whether aware of it or not, in today's society the lighter your skin tone (people of colour included) the more social privileges you will be afforded. Whether that's access to housing, healthcare, employment or credit. A person's race and skin tone has a HUGE part to play in how they are treated by society as a whole, based on their proximity to whiteness."
The model also called out L'Oreal for failing to recognize "racism within the industry." She also urged followers to boycott the brand.
"The irony of all this is that L'Oreal 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," she wrote. "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." Her statements can be read in full below.
"L’Oreal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion. The L’Oreal Paris True Match campaign is a representation of these values and we are proud of the diversity of the Ambassadors who represent this campaign," a spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris UK said, issuing the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "We believe that the recent comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her. L’Oreal remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty."