L'Oreal faces backlash for Black Lives Matter post

Model Munroe Bergdorf called brand 'racist snakes' after her experience in 2017.

Bergdorf: became L'Oréal’s first transgender representative in 2017 (Getty Images/Dave Bennett)
Bergdorf: became L'Oréal’s first transgender representative in 2017 (Getty Images/Dave Bennett)

Trans model Munroe Bergdorf has accused L'Oréal Paris of "gaslighting", following a post from the brand in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

In an Instagram post – accompanied by a picture that reads: "Speaking out is worth it" – L'Oréal wrote: "L’Oréal Paris stands in solidarity with the Black community, and against injustice of any kind. We are making a commitment to the @naacp to support progress in the fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter."

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Protests have been taking place around the world over the past week after unarmed Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

It is not yet clear what L’Oréal’s "commitment to the NAACP" (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which aims to tackle racism and prejudice) entalis. However, L'Oréal-owned brands including Urban Decay, Maybelline and NYX have announced they will be donating to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a non-profit that is paying criminal bail and immigration bonds for those arrested for protesting against Floyd’s death.

Three years ago, L'Oréal parted ways with its first transgender ambassador Bergdorf after she spoke out about the racism surrounding Charlottesville’s 2017 Unite the Right rally, which left three dead and more injured.

At the time, L'Oréal claimed that Bergdorf’s views were "at odds" with its values, prompting the brand to end its partnership with the model.

Speaking at length about L'Oréal’s post on Instagram, Bergdorf labelled L'Oréal "racist snakes" and accused similar brands of jumping "on the bandwagon" with regard to Black Lives Matter.

"Excuse my language but I am SO angry. FUCK YOU @lorealparis," the post begins.

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A post shared by MUNROE (@munroebergdorf) on

"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. I had to fend for myself being torn apart by the world's press because YOU didn't want to talk about racism.

"Fuck you. Fuck your 'solidarity'. Where was my support when I spoke out? Where was my apology? I'm disgusted and writing this in floods of tears and shaking. This is gaslighting.

"If you care about me or #blacklivesmatter, don't let @lorealparis get away with this."

Campaign has contacted L'Oréal for comment but has not received a response.

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