Munroe Bergdorf has reunite with L’Oreal Paris three years after the brand cut ties with her for speaking out about systemic racism. The black transgender model has announced that she will be joining the U.K.’s diversity and inclusion board after having an ‘open and constructive’ conversation with L’Oreal’s president.
‘This week, I spoke with L’Oreal Paris new president, Delphine Viguier, who reached out to me directly’, Munroe wrote on her Instagram account.
‘We had an open and constructive conversation, she listened to what I had to say and expressed her regret for how the situation was handled three years ago’. She added that L’Oreal is due to release a statement outlining the company’s plans to donate € 25,000 to Mermaids, a charity that ‘supports gender-variant and transgender youth in the U.K”, and U.K. Black Pride, ‘an annual safe space to celebrate diverse sexualities, gender identities, cultures, gender expressions and backgrounds’.
‘As an activist, part of my work is to encourage big businesses to understand their responsibility with regards to diversity and inclusion’, she said. ‘It’s imperative that in all industries, a wide range of people from different backgrounds and experiences are it the room at all levels and in decision making roles, to reduce oversight to create a product that is built all people in mind’.
After revealing the cosmetic brands offered her the consultancy role, Munroe said: ‘I believe in accountability and progress, not cancellation and grudges. While what happened three years ago was extremely traumatic for me personally and professionally sitting on a board to provide a voice and a champion for black, trans and queer voices in the beauty industry is important for me. It feels good to finally have closure on this matter and I look forward to new beginnings with the L’Oreal team’.
Back in 2017, Munroe was announced as L’Oreal first transgender representative when she was hired to be the face of the company. The hiring was celebrated as it was considered a big step forward for the beauty industry, which has only fallen short when it comes to representation of both transgender people and people of colour.
However, Munroe’s contract was terminated just a few days later when one of her Facebook post come to light, in which she reportedly brought to light the ‘racial violence of white people’ after witnessing white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
L’Oreal made a statement in which they said that Munroe’s comments were ‘at odds’ with their ethos of diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion.