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- English model and activist
Munroe Bergdorf has announced she has smoothed things over with L'Oréal after previously accusing the cosmetics brand of racial hypocrisy.
For those who missed it, last week the model called out L'Oréal Paris for sharing a supportive Black Lives Matter post to Instagram.
Having been championed as L'Oréal's first transgender model to appear in a British advertising campaign, Bergdorf was fired by the cosmetics company in 2017 after she spoke about racism online.
And following an Instagram post offering support to the BLM movement the 32-year-old shared her fury that some brands seem to be using the tragic death of George Floyd as a “PR opportunity’.
However, having spoken directly to L’Oréal, Bergdorf has shared an update on the situation to Twitter in which she revealed that the beauty brand had apologised and offered her a new role as a diversity and inclusion ambassador.
I have spoken with @loreal, please swipe for full statement.
Thank you everyone for having my back with this matter over the past three years, it hasn't been easy.
Looking forward to new beginnings and a new positive relationship with the L'Oreal team.
Munroe x pic.twitter.com/DxltLF8Z7j
— Black Lives Matter ✊🏾 (@MunroeBergdorf) June 9, 2020
Sharing a detailed statement the model wrote that she was now “looking forward to new beginnings and a new positive relationship with the L’Oréal team.”
In the statement, Bergdorf revealed that she had an “open and construdtive conversation” with the new president of L’Oréal Paris, Delphine Viguier, who had reached out to her directly.
“She listened to what I had to say and expressed her regret for how the situation was handled three years ago,” the statement explains.
It goes on to give details of L’Oréal’s plans to make a charitable donation to Mermaids UK of €25,000, which supports gener-varient and transgender youth in the UK and a further €25,000 donation to UK Black Pride, an annual safe space to celebrate diverse sexualities, gender identities cultures, gender expressions and backgrounds.
The model went on to explain that she has been offered a consultancy role to sit on the UK Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board for L’Oréal “helping to influence and inform the brand”, a position she accepted.
“As an activist, part of my work is to encourage big businesses to understand their responsibility with regards to diversity and inclusion,” Bergdorf said.
“It’s imperative that in all industries, a wide range of people from different backgrounds and experiences are in the room at all levels and in decision making roles, to reduce oversight and to create a product that is built with all people in mind.”
Despite having an issue with the brand three years ago, Bergdorf is keen to move forward to create a new relationship.
“I believe in accountability and progress, not cancellation and grudges,” she continued. “While what happened three years ago was extremely traumatic for me personally and professionally, sitting on a board to provide a voice and a champion for black, trans and queer voices in the beauty industry is important for me.
“It feels good to finally have closure on this matter and I look forward to new beginnings with the L’Oréal team.”
Bergdorf added that over the past three years, she has realised her responsibility as an activist is to “help to unite us as people, regardless of our identity”.
Following the announcement on Twitter, people rushed to applaud Bergdorf on speaking out against L’Oréal and for working to create a new relationship that could action further change.
🗣 game changer, history maker!!!!!
— Clara Amfhome (@claraamfo) June 9, 2020
More power to you Munroe. This is a big win.
— Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk) June 9, 2020
Im so glad they stepped forward and listened 🙌💕
— Lucy Moon 🌻 (@iamnotlucymoon) June 9, 2020
Awesome result. Well done Munroe for your perseverance & grace and to L'Oreal for eventually doing the right thing. I hope others learn that it is never too late to learn & to make amends.
— Black Lives Matter (@DadTrans) June 9, 2020
The model was announced as L’Oréal Paris’ first-ever transgender model in August 2017, and was set to appear in their True Match campaign, which supposedly champions diversity.
However, the model was dropped after speaking out in the aftermath of white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies that took place in Charleston, US.
At the time L’Oréal U.K. said in statement that Bergdorf’s comments were at odds with the company’s values, adding: “L’Oréal supports diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion.
“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.”
But their choice to ignore me & not acknowledge the emotional, mental & professional harm that they caused me since sacking me in 2017 after speaking out about white supremacy & racism, speaks volumes.
— Black Lives Matter ✊🏾 (@MunroeBergdorf) June 3, 2020
Following L’Oréal’s post in support of Black Lives Matter, Bergdorf wrote on Twitter: “Their [L’Oréal] choice to ignore me & not acknowledge the emotional, mental & professional harm that they caused me since sacking me in 2017 after speaking out about white supremacy & racism, speaks volumes.”
All the clapping hand emojis to both Bergdorf and L’Oreal for being able to put the past aside and work towards a better, more diverse future.