In a matter of days, transgender model Munroe Bergdorf went from posting her excitement after being hired by makeup brand L’Oreal Paris to calling for a boycott of the company.
Early Friday, the UK division of the company announced its partnership with the London model was ending after she posted a comment on Facebook that started with, “‘Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.”
The post has since been deleted.
L’Oréal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her.
— L’Oréal Paris UK (@LOrealParisUK) September 1, 2017
Bergdorf fired back that her words about the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville last month were taken out of context and that the company didn’t want her talking about systemic racism. She said she was “disappointed with the company” and wrote a massive post about the irony of being on a beauty campaign that “stands for diversity” and then getting fired for talking about white privilege.
We reached out to L’Oreal UK for further comment beyond their Twitter statement.
Bergdorf directly addressed the controversial statement that appears to have led to her firing. “When I stated that ‘all white people are racist’, I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy – designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race. Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist,” she wrote on Facebook.
Others called out the company for what many felt was too quick of a firing.
Hi L’Oreal PR team, please explain these ‘values’? So you fire black pple that speak out against racism? I expect a thorough reply. Thanks!
— Firebird 🎈 (@BrokenJaw_R) September 1, 2017
This tweet is not made to made y’all rethink the decision. I just want you guys to know if you really want to boycott L’Oreal, do it right.
— Dani. (@emmabahi) September 1, 2017
Bergdorf had announced earlier this week that it was “such an honour to become L’Oreal’s first transgender model in the UK.”