Transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf makes peace with L’Oréal

L'Oréal Paris fired transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf as we reported back in 2017, but now they faced criticism for hypocrisy after posting a social media message now, embracing Black Lives Matter. 

L’Oréal Paris posted the message above, and got a near-immediate response from Munroe Bergdorf, below. 

In 2017,  L’Oréal Paris stated that "L’Oréal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her." But things have apparently changed, as in a statement on Instagram today, L’Oréal Paris Brand President Delphine Viguier said : "I had an honest, transparent and vulnerable conversation with Munroe Bergdorf. We listened to each other and shared our feelings and perspectives on the situation with open hearts and minds. It was a powerful moment of human connection."

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“I had an honest, transparent and vulnerable conversation with Munroe Bergdorf. We listened to each other and shared our feelings and perspectives on the situation with open hearts and minds. It was a powerful moment of human connection. 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. Here is how we will move forward: As we stand united in our advocacy against all forms of racism, we will take action together. The L’Oréal Group is forming a UK Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board of voices inside and outside the company, who will influence and inform our action plan. I have invited Munroe to participate on this Board and thank her for graciously accepting. We will honor Munroe’s advocacy for both the Trans and Black communities. L’Oréal will be donating to associations that support social justice and causes that are deeply personal to Munroe’s experience. Speaking out is worth it, only if we are able to listen, learn and grow. We all want to contribute to a society in which everyone can live safely, peacefully and equally, and that begins with repairing relationships and moving forward together. I thank @munroebergdorf for her willingness to do this.” - Delphine Viguier – L’Oreal Paris Brand President Image credit: @lukenugentphotography

A post shared by L'Oréal Paris Official (@lorealparis) on

This conversation must have gone well, as soon Munroe Bergdorf announced on Twitter: "Looking forward to new beginnings and a new positive relationship with the L'Oreal team."

L’Oréal Paris wasn't the only brand to be called out on Twitter for previous behaviour when they posted support for black lives matter, but since L’Oréal USA is also involved in a lawsuit filed in late 2018 by former VP-Digital Marketing Amanda Johnson, over allegations of racial discrimination and a toxic work environment, it seems particularly blind to its own doings.

L’Oréal Paris Brand President Delphine Viguier has announced steps to move forward. "The L’Oréal Group is forming a UK Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board of voices inside and outside the company, who will influence and inform our action plan. I have invited Munroe to participate on this Board and thank her for graciously accepting. We will honor Munroe’s advocacy for both the Trans and Black communities. L’Oréal will be donating to associations that support social justice and causes that are deeply personal to Munroe’s experience."

According to Munroe's post, L’Oréal Paris has promised a charitable donation of €25000 to Mermaids, a controversial transgender lobby group that campaigns for children to be given sex-change hormone treatments, and another €25000 to UK Black Pride, a black gay pride event in London.

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