Former Love Island star turned entrepreneur, Molly-Mae Hague, is facing backlash over comments she made during a recent podcast. Whilst speaking on Diary of a CEO, the influencer (who is also the Creative Director of fast fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, earning a seven-figure salary) remarked that we "all have the same 24 hours in a day" and that if you want something badly enough, you can achieve it irrespective of your financial situation.
The comments have gone down pretty badly with some, with Molly-Mae's critics saying her remarks are tone deaf and smack of privilege, especially given that a 2020 investigation by The Sunday Times alleged that garment workers for the boohoo group (of which PLT is a part) in Leicester were being paid a mere £3.50 an hour – well below the living wage of £9.50.
When Cosmopolitan reached out to PLT for comment, a boohoo group spokesperson said, "Any suggestion that garment workers for PLT (or any other boohoo group PLC brand) are paid lower than the minimum wage is grossly inaccurate."
On the podcast, Molly-Mae referred to a much uttered sentiment along the lines of 'We all have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé', but seemingly did not address that yes, whilst that may be true, some people spend those hours working in poorly paid positions just to keep a roof over their heads, or that others may have caring responsibilities leaving them with little time to pursue their goals – along with a myriad of other factors.
"You're given one life and it's down to you what you do with it," she said. "Like you can literally go in any direction. When I've spoken about that before in the past I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying 'It's easy for you to say, you've not grown up in poverty, you've not grown up with major money struggles, so for you to sit there and say that "We all have the same 24 hours in a day" it's not correct'."
Molly-Mae then doubled down on her remarks and added, "And I'm like but technically what I'm saying is correct, we do. So I understand that obviously we all have different backgrounds and we're all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I think if you want something enough you can achieve it.
"It just depends to what lengths you wanna go to get to where you wanna be in the future, I'll go to any length. I've worked my arse off to get to where I am now."
Although the podcast was first shared back in December, the backlash against Molly-Mae's comments appear to have started after a clip was reshared on social media, as she and her boyfriend Tommy Fury enjoyed a trip to New York.
Many have remarked that her attitude is the equivalent of saying "If you're homeless, why not just buy a house?"
When approached for comment by Cosmopolitan, Molly-Mae's team said that her comments were in relation to her own personal experience, not that of anybody else's.
In full, their statement reads: "Molly did a podcast interview in December about her own rise to success. If you listen to the full conversation and interview Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself. This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success. Molly refers to a quote which says 'We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce'.
She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote. Her opinion on if you want something enough [it's possibly to achieve it through hard work, is how she stays determined when it comes to her own life and career path]. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience. She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life.
"If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her. Social media users [are sharing] a short snippet from this interview with words such as 'if you are homeless buy a house' and 'if you are poor be poor' – these are absolutely not Molly's words, these are not Molly's thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation."
Molly-Mae's close friend Maura Higgins, has defended Molly-Mae, too. Fellow Love Islander Shaughna Phillips tweeted, "Molly Mae is young, who’s had a lot of success really quickly, and not a lot of "life". So I can understand why she holds those views. We all say things when we’re younger and look back and think "well that was stupid" lol. No shade, I wanna live in her bubble."
In response, Maura appeared to call Shaughna out by saying, "Surely you know as someone in this industry how lonely and scary it can be when the whole internet is slamming you. Your [sic] entitled to your opinion yes but I’m really surprised you commenting on this at all."
Another twitter user said they didn't see anything wrong with Molly-Mae's comments, writing, "People heard what they wanted to hear. I heard that as we’ve all got 24 hours, it’s what you do with it that counts - which could mean anything YOU as [a] person class as some type of success, not necessarily financial."
A further person shared, "I agree with you Shaughna. I think Molly let her privilege show a bit much in how she phrased things. I’m sure she works very hard, but so do a lot of people who barely make ends meet. I like Molly and she deserves success, but maybe a bit more humility too."
With regards to the wages of garment workers, the boohoo group spokesperson added, "We publish a list of all our approved UK and international manufacturers, all of whom have been audited over the last 18 months, and we do not tolerate any non-compliance with our supplier Code of Conduct. We operate a whistleblowing hotline so people can share any concerns they may have and we work with relevant government agencies to ensure the people who make our clothes have their rights in the workplace protected."
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