Trans model Munroe Bergdorf has accused L'Oréal Paris of "gaslighting", following a post from the brand in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
In an Instagram post – accompanied by a picture that reads: "Speaking out is worth it" – L'Oréal wrote: "L’Oréal Paris stands in solidarity with the Black community, and against injustice of any kind. We are making a commitment to the @naacp to support progress in the fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter."
Protests have been taking place around the world over the past week after unarmed Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed by a police officer.
It is not yet clear what L’Oréal’s "commitment to the NAACP" (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which aims to tackle racism and prejudice) entalis. However, L'Oréal-owned brands including Urban Decay, Maybelline and NYX have announced they will be donating to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a non-profit that is paying criminal bail and immigration bonds for those arrested for protesting against Floyd’s death.
Three years ago, L'Oréal parted ways with its first transgender ambassador Bergdorf after she spoke out about the racism surrounding Charlottesville’s 2017 Unite the Right rally, which left three dead and more injured.
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
At the time, L'Oréal claimed that Bergdorf’s views were "at odds" with its values, prompting the brand to end its partnership with the model.
Speaking at length about L'Oréal’s post on Instagram, Bergdorf labelled L'Oréal "racist snakes" and accused similar brands of jumping "on the bandwagon" with regard to Black Lives Matter.
"Excuse my language but I am SO angry. FUCK YOU @lorealparis," the post begins.
Excuse my language but I am SO angry. FUCK YOU @lorealparis. You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy. With no duty of care, without a second thought. I had to fend for myself being torn apart by the world's press because YOU didn't want to talk about racism. You even tried to get me to incriminate myself with pairing me up with your shady lawyers, when I had done NOTHING wrong. THAT is what you get for 'speaking out' when employed by @lorealparis. Racist snakes. You do NOT get to do this. This is NOT okay, not even in the slightest. I said just yesterday that it would only be a matter of time before RACIST AF brands saw a window of PR opportunity to jump on the bandwagon. Fuck you. Fuck your 'solidarity'. Where was my support when I spoke out? Where was my apology? I'm disgusted and writing this in floods of tears and shaking. This is gaslighting. If you care about me or #blacklivesmatter, don't let @lorealparis get away with this.
"You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy. With no duty of care, without a second thought. I had to fend for myself being torn apart by the world's press because YOU didn't want to talk about racism.
"Fuck you. Fuck your 'solidarity'. Where was my support when I spoke out? Where was my apology? I'm disgusted and writing this in floods of tears and shaking. This is gaslighting.
Campaign has contacted L'Oréal for comment but has not received a response.