Earlier this week, L’Oréal Paris UK unveiled the ambassadors for its YoursTruly True Match diversity campaign. Included among them—for the first time—was a transgender model: Munroe Bergdorf.
For a few days, it seemed like Bergdorf’s star was rising: She was called “London’s Laverne Cox” by The Evening Standard—a reference to the transgender Orange Is the New Black actress—and penned an editorial for Vogue.
“To be the first trans woman in a L’Oréal Paris UK campaign feels amazing, and also kind of crazy. When I got the email about it I was just sat with my mum and I couldn’t believe it,” she wrote.
A few days later, Bergdorf has become a persona non grata with the makeup giant after writing a Facebook (FB) post in which she deemed all Caucasians racist. The post has since been taken down, but according to People, she wrote:
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people. 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 color.”
The post gets more scathing as it progresses:
“Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggression to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege. Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.”
On Friday morning, L’Oreal announced on Twitter (TWTR) that Bergdorf’s comments are “at odds” with the brand’s values and that it would be ending its partnership with her.
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Bergdorf wrote another Facebook post Friday to clarify that her statements were in response to the Charlottesville white nationalist rally.
She then went on to address L’Oreal ending her contract:
“If L’Oreal truly wants to offer empowerment to underrepresented women, then they need to acknowledge THE REASON why these women are underrepresented within the industry in the first place. This reason is discrimination – an action which punches down from a place of social privilege. We need to talk about why women of colour were and still are discriminated against within the industry, not just see them as a source of revenue.”