What happens when a major company is forced to choose between white people and a transgender model that claims all white people are racist? That's a pretty tight spot in today's post-Charlottesville, racially-tense society (not to mention the pressure to always affirm the LGBTQ community).
But that is the exact position L'oreal was just put in. Days after the cosmetics giant announced that Munroe Bergdorf would be their first transgender spokesmodel, comments Bergdorf made about all white people being racist came to light, and the company was forced to pick a side.
"Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people," Bergdorf wrote in a Facebook post following the Charlottesville riots. "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***."
Backlash arose against Bergdorf's comments, calling them racist. L'oreal then had to make the tough decision between the offended public and their new transgender model. They chose to let Bergdorf go.
"L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion," the company's statement read, reports NBC. "We believe that the recent comments by L’Oréal Paris UK Spokesperson Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her."
But Bergdorf is not going to go quietly. In a lengthy Facebook post, the model shared her anger over the company's decision, criticizing the hypocrisy of standing for diversity while shutting its ears to experiences of racism.
In a separate Facebook post, Bergdorf then urged followers to boycott L'oreal: "Sit still and smile in a beauty campaign 'championing diversity'. But don't actually speak about the fact that lack of diversity is due to racism. Or speak about the origins of racism. It'll cost you your job. This makeup brand cares about nothing but MONEY. I urge you to boycott L'Oréal Paris. I can't express how disappointed I am in the entire team in dealing with misquotes that were entirely placed out of context."
The public has had divided reactions to L'oreal's decision. While some back Bergdorf and feel L'oreal has silenced the voice of those affected by white racism, others say Bergdorf's blanket accusation that all white people are racist is totally out of line.
Obviously, this battle is still very fresh, and L'oreal will have to do some work to win back its offended base. What do you think about L'oreal's decision? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thank you! In other news, another major hurricane is now threatening the U.S., say experts.