L’Oréal Paris has ended its partnership with its first transgender U.K. model, just days after it was announced, following reports that she accused “all white people” of racism in a Facebook post.
“L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion,” the French cosmetics company said in a statement Friday. “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 L’Oréal Paris UK Spokesperson Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her,” the brand said. “L’Oréal Paris remains committed to the True Match campaign and breaking down barriers in beauty.”
The statement comes less than a week after L’Oréal proudly announced Ms. Bergdorf, a black transgender woman, as a spokesmodel for its U.K. campaign.
In a now-deleted Facebook post following the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, Ms. Bergdorf wrote, “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s—-,” she reportedly wrote. “Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.”
Despite deleting her initial comments, Ms. Bergdorf stood by her beliefs, arguing that “white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards.”
“It is not something genetic. No one is born racist,” she wrote in a Facebook post Friday morning. “We also live in a society where men are SOCIALISED to be sexist. Women are SOCIALISED to be submissive. Gay people are SOCIALISED to be ashamed of their sexuality due to heterosexual people’s homophobia. Cisgender people are SOCIALISED to be transphobic. We do not need to be this way. We are not born this way and we can learn to reject it. We are just socially conditioned to think this way from an early age. With the right education, empathy and open mindedness we can unlearn these socialisations and live a life where we don’t oppress others and see things from other people’s points of view.”
In a separate post, Ms. Bergdorf called for a boycott against L’Oréal.
“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. Or speak about the origins of racism. It’ll cost you your job,” she wrote.
“This makeup brand cares about nothing but MONEY. I urge you to boycot [sic] 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,” she wrote.