L'Oreal's first transgender model Munroe Bergdorf is urging her followers to boycott the cosmetics giant after she was fired over comments she made about racism and white privilege in a Facebook post.
The brand announced it had cut ties with the 29-year-old model on Friday (1 September), just days after naming her as one of the faces of the campaign #allworthit.
Shortly after the actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville led to the death of a peaceful protester and left several people injured, Bergdorf wrote that white people were racists and that many did not 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".
The post was later deleted.
In a statement L'Oreal revealed it had decided to end the partnership with Bergdorf because the controversial post was "at odds with our values".
It added: "L'Oréal remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty."
The move was condemned online, with many critics accusing the company of hypocrisy. One person asked: "How can you claim to champion diversity and then fire her for speaking out against systemic racism."
Bergdorf, a DJ and fashion designer, has since hit back in a scathing post, stating that she was disappointed that she was being punished for a post that was taken out of context.
"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."
In another post, she accused the brand of only caring about money and told her followers to stop buying its products. "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," she wrote.
"This make-up brand cares about nothing but MONEY. I urge you to boycott L'Oréal Paris. I can't express how disappointed I am in the entire team in dealing with misquotes that were entirely placed out of context."