L’Oreal Paris took to its Instagram to support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, many users accused the brand of hypocrisy, recalling how in 2017 the company stopped working with the dark-skinned transgender model Munroe Bergdorf.
The reason for cutting ties with Bergdorf was her public statements against racism.
In a statement, Delphine Viguier, L’Oreal Paris Brand President, reflects on the accusations.
"I had an honest, transparent and vulnerable conversation with Munroe Bergdorf. We listened to each other and shared our feelings and perspectives on the situation with open hearts and minds. It was a powerful moment of human connection.
Here is what I heard from her: 3 years ago, Munroe felt silenced by a brand, L’Oréal Paris, that had the power to amplify her voice. While we both agree today that negative labels should not be used to define all individuals in any group, I understand much better the pain and trauma that were behind Munroe’s words back then and the urgency she felt to speak in defense of the Black community against systemic racism. I regret the lack of dialogue and support the company showed Munroe around the time of the termination. We should have also done more to create a conversation for change as we are now doing.
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We support Munroe's fight against systemic racism and as a company we are committed to work to dismantle such systems.
Here is how we will move forward: As we stand united in our advocacy against all forms of racism, we will take action together. The L’Oréal Group is forming a UK Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board of voices inside and outside the company, who will influence and inform our action plan. I have invited Munroe to participate on this Board and thank her for graciously accepting. We will honor Munroe’s advocacy for both the Trans and Black communities. L’Oréal will be donating to associations that support social justice and causes that are deeply personal to Munroe’s experience. Speaking out is worth it, only if we are able to listen, learn and grow.
We all want to contribute to a society in which everyone can live safely, peacefully and equally, and that begins with repairing relationships and moving forward together. I thank @munroebergdorf for her willingness to do this," Viguier noted.
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