L’Oreal Paris hired its first openly transgender model this week, and then fired her over a Facebook post holding all white people accountable for systematic racism. Monroe Bergdorf made the post in response to the violence in Charlottesville, and it apparently went unnoticed by her new employers, until the Daily Mail published her reported comments on Thursday (Aug. 31).
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” wrote the 29-year-old British model. “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. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.”
She added, “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.”
L’Oreal didn’t waste time booting Bergdorf from their diversity campaign amid pressure from people calling her racist.
@Loreal Do you condone Munroe Bergdorf’s racism? B/c keeping a racist in your campaign for diversity & inclusiveness undermines your message
— F. Lyn Garner (@FGarner259) August 31, 2017
In a statement on Twitter, the company explained that her comments didn’t reflect their “values.”
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 responded by calling for a boycott the makeup brand. “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 on Facebook Friday.
“This makeup brand cares about nothing but MONEY. I urge you to boycott L’Oreal Paris I can’t express how disappointed I am in the entire team in dealing with misquotes that were entirely placed out of context.”
Check below for reactions to Bergdorf’s comment, and L’Oreal’s decision to fire her.
how can you claim to champion diversity and then fire her for speaking out against systemic racism??
— Hayley (@HixxiDustButt) September 1, 2017
She was literally standing up for diversity and against white supremacy. WTF L’Oréal. I guess I won’t be buying your products again.
— Emmeline May (@RStarDinoPirate) September 1, 2017
— cosycosy (@cosycosy8) September 1, 2017
She isn’t being racist. She’s giving you a history lesson and telling you what it’s like to be a PoC in the UK. White people benefit from…
— Cece Alexandra (@cece_alexandra) September 1, 2017
This is messy. Good luck…
— Ira Madison III (@ira) September 1, 2017