L'Oreal says brand 'regrets' firing Munroe Bergdorf for anti-racism post

Cosmetics brand L’Oreal has said it regrets its treatment of model and activist Munroe Bergdorf after she was fired three years ago for an anti-racism post.

They’ve also promised to donate €25,000 (£22,00) to Mermaids, a charity for transgender young people, and €25,000 to UK Black Pride.

Back in 2017, Munroe was sacked just days after she was announced as the brand’s first ever transgender representative.

At the time, she wrote a Facebook post about an anti-racism protestor who was killed by a white supremacist at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In response, the beauty giant said that as ‘champions of diversity’ it felt the Munroe’s comments were at ‘odds’ with those of the company, and that it could no longer work with her.

Munroe raised the incident again last week when the brand posted about Black Lives Matter protests and the words ‘speaking out is worth it’.

Posting a screenshot, Munroe said: ‘Excuse my language but I am SO angry. F**K 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.’

‘Here is what I heard from her: 3 years ago, Munroe felt silenced by a brand, L’Oréal Paris, that had the power to amplify her voice. While we both agree today that negative labels should not be used to define all individuals in any group, I understand much better the pain and trauma that were behind Munroe’s words back then and the urgency she felt to speak in defense of the Black community against systemic racism.

‘I regret the lack of dialogue and support the company showed Munroe around the time of the termination. We should have also done more to create a conversation for change as we are now doing.

‘We support Munroe’s fight against systemic racism and as a company we are committed to work to dismantle such systems.’

She added that moving forward, they would form a UK Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board of voices inside and outside the company, who will ‘influence and inform our action plan’.

Highlighting the post on the L’Oreal page last week, she said: ‘Speaking out is worth it, only if we are able to listen, learn and grow.’

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