LONDON — L’Oréal Paris has ended its contract with transgender model Munroe Bergdorf after comments made by the 29-year-old on social media.
The company issued a statement: “L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance toward 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.”
Bergdorf was the beauty giant’s first transgender model and was tapped as a “face of modern diversity” just two days ago. She was among the five faces of the #allworthit U.K. campaign to showcase five shades of the brand’s True Match foundation.
According to a Facebook post by Bergdorf, the model noted that her “rant” was actually a direct response to the marches in Charlottesville, Va. “First up, let’s put my words in context, as the Daily Mail failed to do so. This ‘rant’ was a direct response to the violence of white supremacists in Charlottesville. It was not written this week. Secondly, identifying that the success of the British Empire has been at the expense of the people of color is not something that should offend anyone. It is a fact. It happened. Slavery and colonialism, at the hands of white supremacy, played a huge part in shaping the United Kingdom and much of the West, into the super power that it is today.
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“Whether aware of it or not, in today’s society the lighter your skin tone (people of color included) the more social privileges you will be afforded. Whether that’s access to housing, health care, 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.
“When I stated that ‘all white people are racist,’ I was addressing the fact that Western society as a whole, is a system rooted in white supremacy — designed to benefit, prioritize and protect white people before anyone of any other race. Unknowingly, white people are socialized to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist.”