Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Moloch Doesn't Tolerate Truthful (Diverse) Political Views


qz | Earlier this month, when L’Oréal Paris UK hired British beauty blogger Amena Khan to be the face of its new hair care line, Elvive, the cosmetics company—the largest in the world—was celebrated for choosing a model wearing a hijab to front a hair campaign.

“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” Khan told Vogue UK at the time, noting that just because you don’t see someone’s hair doesn’t mean that they don’t take care of it. “They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf…in a hair campaign.” It was an important step towards representation on the brand’s part.

But less than two weeks after that Vogue UK interview, Khan found out that L’Oréal Paris didn’t want her voice after all. She was asked to step down after tweets in which she condemned Israel resurfaced from 2014. Khan made the announcement personally on her Instagram:
L’Oréal Paris UK also released a statement:
We have recently been made aware of a series of tweets posted in 2014 by Amena Khan, who was featured in a U.K. advertising campaign. We appreciate that Amena has since apologised for the content of these tweets and the offense they have caused. L’Oréal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.
This is not the first time that L’Oréal Paris UK has severed its relationship with a model because of personal views expressed on social media. In September 2017, the company dropped British transgender DJ and activist Munroe Bergdorf, who was the face of their YoursTruly True Match campaign. Bergdorf, it seems, had expressed controversial views on race and privilege.

“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more,” she wrote in August on Facebook. “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.” The post was deleted shortly afterwards.

Like with Khan, L’Oréal Paris released a statement explaining their diversity policy upon firing Bergdorf:
We support diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion. […] 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.
Beauty brands claim to celebrate diversity—but they often want to pretend that that diversity doesn’t come with diverse political views.