L'Oréal Paris has come under fire for being hypocritical in its support of the Black Lives Matter movement and current protests in America. Recently, the brand posted an image on Instagram of a black tile with the words "Speaking out is worth it". It added that it stands in solidarity with the Black community and against injustice of any kind. The brand also said it made a commitment to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People to support progress in the fight for justice.
Shortly after, L’Oréal was called out by transgender model Munroe Bergdorf who lambasted the brand on Instagram for not supporting her when she spoke out against the racial violence of white people in 2017. In the post, Bergdorf said: "I said just yesterday that it would only be a matter of time before racist brands saw a window of PR opportunity to jump on the bandwagon."
"Where was my support when I spoke out? Where was my apology? I'm disgusted and writing this in floods of tears and shaking. This is gaslighting," she said. Bergdorf added that the brand dropped her from a campaign in 2017 and "threw [her] 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 even tried to get me to incriminate myself with pairing me up with your shady lawyers, when I had done nothing wrong. That is what you get for 'speaking out' when employed by L'Oréal Paris. Racist snakes," she added. Marketing has reached out to L'Oréal for comment.
In 2017, Bergdorf was brought on board as one of the five new faces to represent the five new shades of L'Oreal's True Match foundation. She commented back then that she "[doesn't] have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more", adding "Yes ALL white people", according to multiple media reports. Following this incident, L'Oréal tweeted that it "champions diversity" and ended its partnership with Bergdorf as her comments were "at odds with [its] values". Netizens previously criticised for claiming to champion diversity but firing Bergdorf for speaking out against systemic racism.
This time round, netizens have also come to Bergdorf's defence and called L'Oréal out for the PR stunt, adding that it has never truly stood in solidarity with Black people. Several questioned L'Oréal's eagerness to support Bergdorf when she spoke out on systemic racism in 2017 and demanded that the brand publicly apologised to the model. Aside from this post, L'Oréal has also posted an image of a black tile about 14 hours ago in support of #BlackOutTuesday, an initiative to go silent on social media and reflect on recent events, as well as stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
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