This article was originally published on People.
Earlier this week, beauty giant L’Oréal Paris made headlines for hiring transgender model Munroe Bergdorf to appear in its YoursTruly True Match ad campaign. And now they’re making headlines several days later for parting ways with the 29-year-old British model after she wrote a lengthy post on Facebook in which she decried the “racial violence of … ALL white people.”
The post has since been taken down, but the model reportedly wrote, “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise 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.”
She continued: “Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggression to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***,” Munroe said in her original Facebook post, which has since been deleted. “Come see me when you realise 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.”
It didn’t take long for L’Oréal to quickly point out that her statements were at odds with the message they were trying to communicate, and end its relationship with the model.
“We support diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion,” the brand said in a statement to the Daily Mail. “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 Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her. L’Oréal remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty.”
Munroe returned to Facebook to try to clarify that her statements were taken out of context, and in response to the Charlottesville white nationalist rally.
“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,” Munroe said.
She continued, calling out L’Oréal for dropping her from its campaign. “If L’Oreal truly wants to offer empowerment to underrepresented women, then they need to acknowledge THE REASON why these women are underrepresented within the industry in the first place. This reason is discrimination – an action which punches down from a place of social privilege. We need to talk about why women of colour were and still are discriminated against within the industry, not just see them as a source of revenue.”