Munroe Bergdorf: “We can't achieve acceptance if we are unwilling to discuss why intolerance and hate exist”
The model, DJ and activist speaks out about the controversial Facebook post which cost her a L’Oreal campaign.
Only a few days ago it was announced that DJ, activist and model Munroe Bergdorf would become L’Oreal’s first transgender model as she fronted their #YoursTruly True Match campaign alongside Katie Piper, Cheryl and Gary Thompson. The campaign seemed to aim to celebrate diversity and break down existing barriers.
But now Bergdorf has lost her job with L’Oreal due to comments she made in a Facebook post in response to the “alt-right” violence in Charlottesville, America.
Here’s what she wrote:
“‘Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.
“Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.
“Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.
“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.
"Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.”
Following these comments hitting the news headlines, L’Oreal released a statement this morning confirming that they would no longer be working with Bergdorf:
“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.”
Now in a new article for The Metro, Bergdorf has spoken out about the post which cost her the L’Oreal gig:
“Whether aware of it or not, in today’s society the lighter your skin tone (people of colour included) the more social privileges you will be afforded.”
“When I stated that 'all white people are racist', I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy – designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race.
“Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist.
“We also live in a society where men are SOCIALISED to be sexist. Women are SOCIALISED to be submissive.
Gay people are SOCIALISED to be ashamed of their sexuality due to heterosexual people’s homophobia. Cisgender people are SOCIALISED to be transphobic. We do not need to be this way.”
Bergdorf concludes her article by stating:
“I stand for tolerance and acceptance – but neither can be achieved if we are unwilling to discuss WHY intolerance and hate exist in the first place.”
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