L’Oréal Hires First Transgender Model, The Fires Her After Comments About Racism
French cosmetic company L'Oreal was praised after they announced their first-ever transgender model, Munroe Bergdorf.
But just as quickly, the company has fallen to much criticism for then sacking their new spokesperson.
Bergdorf, a 29-year-old Brit, appeared in advertisements alongside English singer Cheryl Cole and English TV personality Katie Piper.
But after Bergdorf shared a Facebook post in which she called out the "racial violence of white people," the company let her go.
In the post, a direct response to the recent white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, she wrote:
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more.
“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.”
"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."
In response to Bergdorf's social media post, L'Oreal issued a public statement:
"We support 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."
On Twitter, many people called out L'Oreal for failing to stand by Bergdorf.
Responding to her firing, Bergdorf posted on Facebook:
“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.
“When a transgender woman of colour, who has been selected to front up a big brand campaign to combat discrimination and lack of diversity in the beauty industry, speaks on her actual lived experience of being discriminated against because of her race and identifies the root of where that discrimination lies – white supremacy and systemic racism – that big brand cannot simply state that her thoughts are not ‘in line with the ethics of the brand’.
“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’.”