Days after Munroe Bergdorf made history by becoming the first out transgender model to ever star in a L’Oréal Paris U.K. campaign, and then was promptly fired after the company found her speaking out against white supremacy offensive, one fellow L’Oréal Paris U.K. spokesmodel is coming to her defense.
On Instagram over the weekend, model and DJ Clara Amfo, who starred in a True Match campaign similar to Bergdorf’s last year, announced her solidarity with Bergdorf, even going as far as to cut ties with L’Oréal.
“Not even a week ago I was proud to announce that I was to be in the same campaign as Munroe,” Amfo wrote. “A trans woman of color who L’Oréal Paris Makeup] hired to sell makeup because of who she is. Who she is, a woman who wrote a nuanced post on institutional racism and white supremacy in relation to Charlottesville and how the foundations of those heinous ideals trickle into every facet of our society.”
“A newspaper took her post out of context and span it as ‘a rant’ with the most basic of dog whistle politics to rally people against her,” Amfo continued. “She has now been dropped from the campaign because L’Oréal feel that she is ‘at odds with our values’ ... If she’s not ‘worth it’ anymore, I guess I’m not either.”
When Mic reached out for further comment, Amfo said that she has indeed requested to be removed from all L’Oréal imagery. “I can confirm that I have requested to be removed from all L’Oréal campaign artwork at the same time as Munroe,” Amfo said.
In addition to Amfo, plenty others in the beauty industry, like Spencer Claus, have taken the brand to task as well.
“The beauty industry has done better and can do better; L’Oréal U.K. should see by now that the decision they made in ending their contract with Munroe Bergdorf was a callous and ill-advised one and only perpetuates the eurocentricity that has historically pervaded the cosmetics industry,” Claus added in an interview with Mic. “Now is the time to do better.”
Amid this controversy, Bergdorf has continued to talk about the dangers of white supremacy, suppression and all that it affects in this world.
As Bergdorf said in a statement to Mic after the whole ordeal: “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.”