Earlier this week, Munroe Bergdorf made headlines when she was announced as the first openly transgender woman to be the face of a L’Oréal UK campaign. Folks praised the company for its progressive campaign, which L’Oréal claims is centered upon diversity.
But when Daily Mail published a Facebook post of Bergdorf’s—in which she directly addressed white supremacists following the horrific events in Charlottesville last month—the cosmetic company quickly had a change of heart, and dropped her from the campaign.
“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,” Bergdorf reportedly wrote in the since-deleted post. “Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.”
People began ambushing L’Oreal for choosing Bergdorf to represent the brand, going as far as calling her racist and urging others to boycott the company.
“L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion,” the company said in a statement to Buzzfeed. “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.”
It would seem that, for a company alleging to promote diversity, L’Oreal would laud Bergdorf’s stance in speaking out against racism, white supremacy, and the hateful acts that lead to the deaths of multiple innocent people protesting for the sanctity of their lives. But as Bergdorf herself noted in an interview with Buzzfeed, big-name brands are all for profiting from Black women…until it comes time to stand behind them.
“I’m not saying all white people are racist,” she said. “What I’m talking about is social fact. White people are socially conditioned to be racist in the same way men are conditioned to be misogynistic. It’s society – what the Daily Mail has done is not only make me look like a hate preacher, but directed hate to me.”