L’Oreal dropped Munroe Bergdorf for calling out white supremacy. Now it wants to talk about Black Lives Matter
L’Oréal is facing heavy criticism for sharing a Black Lives Matter solidarity message about the value of “speaking out” given it abruptly dropped model Munroe Bergdorf for speaking out about white supremacy in 2017.
As global attention focuses on the protests against racism and police brutality in the US, after the police murders of Black men George Floyd and Tony McDade, L’Oréal apparently deemed it the right time to weigh in.
The brand seems to have hoped that its Black Lives Matter message wouldn’t jog anyone’s memory, tweeting an image on the first day of LGBT+ Pride Month (June 1) that says: “Speaking out is worth it.”
L’Oréal Paris stands in solidarity with the Black community, and against injustice of any kind. We are making a commitment to the @NAACP to support progress in the fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/4VDZUAdgXv
— L'Oréal Paris USA (@LOrealParisUSA) June 1, 2020
But while L’Oréal may have hoped that its treatment of Bergdorf had been forgotten, the internet swiftly proved it wrong.
Remember when y’all fired Munroe for speaking on race issues
— NO KKK NO FASCIST USA (@high_r0lla) June 1, 2020
We did not forget what your did to Munroe
— ❤️Empty the Prisons (@SJW_Hoe) June 1, 2020
You threw a Black trans woman under the bus for speaking out against white supremacy. Nobody has forgotten what you did to Munroe Bergdorf.
— beth mccoll (@imteddybless) June 2, 2020
you created a massive public pile on of abuse on Munroe Bergdorf specifically because she spoke out about racism and white supremacy. you allowed a Black trans woman to be publicly pilloried FOR YEARS, just to protect white supremacy from critique. HOW DARE YOU
— ts daphne (@imp_kid) June 1, 2020
L’Oréal dropped Munroe Bergdorf for speaking out about white supremacy.
Bergdorf was announced as L’Oréal Paris’ first-ever transgender model in August 2017.
She was almost immediately subjected to a Daily Mail hatchet job for comments she had made in the aftermath of white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies that took place in Charleston, US, in the first weeks of that month.
The ire of the right-wing press focused on a post Bergdorf had shared on Facebook, which read, in part: “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more.
“Yes ALL white people.”
L’Oréal decided to abruptly drop her – just days after announcing their partnership – stating that her comments were “at odds with” its values. The media then hounded Bergdorf for being a “racist”.
Black trans model reacts to brand’s Black Lives Matter message.
She tweeted: “Where was my support when I spoke out?
“Excuse my language but I am SO angry. F**K YOU L’Oréal Paris.”
The hypocrisy in these insipid corporate tweets in support of the Black community is just beyond belief.
If you haven’t walked it, don’t fucking talk it. https://t.co/qv1oSETB1P
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) June 1, 2020
Bergdorf continued: “You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy.
“With no duty of care, without a second thought.
“I had to fend for myself being torn apart by the world’s press because YOU didn’t want to talk about racism.
“You do NOT get to do this. This is NOT OK, not even in the slightest.
“I said yesterday that it would only be a matter of time before RACIST AF brands saw a window of PR opportunity. F**k you. F**k your ‘solidarity’.
“Where was my support when I spoke out? I’m disgusted and writing this in floods of tears.”
— Black Lives Matter ✊🏾 (@MunroeBergdorf) June 1, 2020
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L’Oréal Paris has been contacted for comment.