L’Oréal fires barrier-breaking transgender model who said all white people are racist
A model who was set to become the first trans woman to front a L’Oréal UK campaign has been fired for saying all white people are racist.
Munroe Bergdorf, announced this week that she was going to be the face of the cosmetics giant’s True Match campaign, writing on Instagram: “The world is changing”.
But L’Oréal let the 29-year-old model go this morning after Bergdorf posted on Facebook: “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more.
“Yes ALL white people.”
The model made the comments after white supremacists had marched in Charlottesville, Virginia and killed anti-fascism protester Heather Heyer.
In the post, Bergdorf, who attended the PinkNews Summer Parliamentary Reception and posed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, added: “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.”
After being made aware of the comments, made last month, L’Oréal released a statement saying it “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.”
Supporters of Bergdorf and her presence in a prominent campaign were furious with the decision, and took to Twitter to make their views clear.
Bergdorf responded with a fiery post on Facebook, accusing L’Oréal of throwing her under the bus and defending her previous statements.
“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.”
She continued: “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.
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“The irony of all this is that L’Oréal Paris invited me to be part of a beauty campaign that ‘stands for diversity’.”
Bergdorf called for change, saying: “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.
“Racism may be a jagged pill to swallow, but I suggest you force it down quickly if you want to be part of the solution.
“Doing nothing, does nothing and solves nothing.”
Read Munroe’s full post below: