L’Oréal model Clara Amfo quits over sacking of Munroe Bergdorf
Model and BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo has quit a L’Oreal campaign over the sacking of trans model Munroe Burgdorf.
L’Oréal announced this week that Bergdorf would head up a new makeup campaign for the company, making her the first trans woman to do so.
They then fired her one day later for comments she had made prior to the appointment regarding structural racism.
Bergdorf called on her followers to boycott L’Oréal following the decision.
Clara Amfo, a Radio 1 DJ who is featured in the True Match campaign has asked for her photos to no longer be used after Bergdorf was sacked.
She wrote on Instagram of Munroe and the controversy: “If she’s not ‘worth it’ anymore, I guess I’m not either.”, using the #IStandWithMunroe hashtag.
Amfo wrote: “Not even a week ago I was proud to announce that I was to be in the same campaign as Munroe. A trans woman of colour who @lorealmakeup hired to sell make up because of who she is. Who she is, a woman who wrote a nuanced post on institutional racism and white supremacy in relation to Charlottesville and how the foundations of those heinous ideals trickle in to every facet of our society.
“A newspaper took her post out of context and span it as ‘a rant’ with the most basic of dog whistle politics to rally people against her. She has now been dropped from the campaign because L’Oreal feel that she is “at odds with our values”…..If she’s not “worth it” anymore, I guess I’m not either. #IStandWithMunroe.”
Appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show earlier this week to defend her position, Bergdorf cited L’Oréal brand ambassador Cheryl.
Bergdorf insisted that she shouldn’t have been sacked for calling out racism in society, arguing that another of the campaign’s ambassadors was once convicted of assaulting a black woman.
“I shouldn’t be sacked for calling out racism when I was in a campaign was meant to be championing diversity,” she told Victoria Derbyshire.
“Especially when I was speaking about the violence of white people, but they’ve got Cheryl Cole on the campaign and she was actively convicted for punching a black women in the face.”
In 2003, Cheryl was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an altercation with nightclub toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa.
She was fully acquitted of any racist motivations in the attacks.
A spokesperson for Cheryl told OK! Online: “More than 14 years ago Cheryl was unanimously acquitted of a charge of racially aggravated assault.
L’Oreal bosses say they fired the model over a Facebook post which Bergdorf had written in which she condemned the rise of white supremacy.
In the post, the 29-year-old wrote that all she did not have the “energy” to keep discussing “the racial violence of white people anymore. “Yes ALL white people.”
The post was weeks old and written in response to the Charlottesville violence that saw one person killed and many more injured as far right demonstrators from the KKK and other white supremacist groups clashed with counter-protesters.
Taking to Facebook after L’Oréal announced that she was fired, the model defended the initial post and said that the company was one of many at fault of ignoring people of colour in their products.
“Identifying that the success of the British Empire has been at the expense of the people of colour, is not something that should offend ANYONE. It is a fact. It happened,” Bergdorf started.
“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,” she wrote.