alt
impact
L’Oreal Drops Black Trans Model Munroe Bergdorf for Talking About White Privilege

Munroe Bergdorf’s run as the first out transgender face of a L’Oreal UK campaign has been cut short.

Though Bergdorf’s gig started only a few days ago, the beauty industry giant dropped the transgender model after a prior Facebook post about white privilege, written in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, surfaced.

“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes all white people,” Bergdorf wrote on her private Facebook page. Facebook, Mic reported, subsequently deleted the post after multiple users reported it.

“Because most of y’all don’t even realize 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,” Bergdorf continued. “Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Come see me when you realize 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,” she continued.

L’Oreal announced that Bergdorf had been terminated on Twitter.

“L’Oréal champions diversity,” the brand wrote on social media. “Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her.”

Several Twitter users called out L’Oreal for saying it “champions diversity” then dumping a black trans woman who speaks out about white privilege.

Bergdorf is not the only trans woman of color to use her platform to speak out against white supremacy in the wake of the Charlottesville protests. In a column for INTO, Raquel Willis connected the dots between white supremacy and transmisogyny, as well.

In a statement on the website of the UK’s Stonewall organization, chief executive Ruth Hunt denounced L’Oreal’s discussion.

“We are extremely disappointed to learn that L’Oreal has ended its partnership with Munroe Bergdorf,” Hunt wrote. “Being a true ally is about listening, even if what you are hearing makes you uncomfortable.”

Hunt added, “Silencing trans women of colour is no way to champion diversity, especially when speaking about their experiences. We will continue to stand by the side of role models like Munroe, working towards a society where everyone, everywhere, is accepted without exception.”

Bergdorf issued a statement to Mic, as well.

“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,” she said. “Or speak about the origins of racism. It’ll cost you your job.”

“This makeup brand cares about nothing but MONEY,” she added. “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.”