L’Oréal sacks transgender model Munroe Bergdorf over ‘racist’ Facebook post

Published: 1-Sep-2017

Beauty giant ends partnership with its first transgender model days after she is appointed as an Ambassador for True Match campaign

L’Oréal has cut ties with its first transgender model in the UK, Munroe Bergdorf, after she published a racially-charged Facebook post.

Just days after Bergdorf, 29, was appointed as an Ambassador for L’Oréal Paris’ True Match campaign, the beauty giant has confirmed with Cosmetics Business that the partnership is over.

Racist remarks

Bergdorf landed in hot water when she posted on Facebook after the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests.

In a post that has since been deleted, she reportedly wrote: “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.”

She continued: “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.”

Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.

L’Oréal sacks Bergdorf

Today L’Oréal withdrew its agreement with Bergdorf on the basis that her comments did not align with its values.

The company said in a statement: “L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion.

“The L’Oréal Paris True Match campaign is a representation of these values and we are proud of the diversity of the Ambassadors who represent this campaign.

“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’Oréal remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty.”

Bergdorf responds with second post

Bergdorf responded with another Facebook post, calling out the Daily Mail for 'wrongly' interpreting the original post.

She also elaborated on the points made in her first post, stating: “When I stated that "all white people are racist", I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy - designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race. Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist.”

Directly referencing the L’Oréal Paris partnership, she wrote: “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.”

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