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Munroe Bergdorf to join L’Oréal Paris's Diversity board: 'I look forward to new beginnings'

"I believe in accountability and progress, not cancellation and grudges."

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Alex Light
Body Work Columnist
June 9, 2020
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Munroe Bergdorf has reunited with L’Oréal 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 UK's diversity and inclusion board after having an "open and constructive" conversation with L’Oréal's president. 

"This week, I spoke with L’Oréal Paris new president, Delphine Viguier, who reached out to me directly," Munroe wrote on her Instagram account. 

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Munroe has revealed she has now joined forces with L'Oréal Paris

"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’Oréal is due to release a statement outlining the company's plans to donate €25,000 (£22,279) to Mermaids, a charity that "supports gender-variant and transgender youth in the UK", and UK Black Pride, "an annual safe space to celebrate diverse sexualities, gender identities, cultures, gender expressions and backgrounds".

Read: 15 powerful and essential books on racial injustice to add to your reading list

"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 in the room at all levels and in decision making roles, to reduce oversight and to create a product that is built with all people in mind."

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After revealing the cosmetics brand 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’Oréal team."

Back in 2017, Munroe was announced as L'Oreal's 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. 

Read: Gemma Cairney backs campaign to have British black history taught in schools

However, Munroe's contract was terminated just a few days later when one of her Facebook posts 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’Oréal 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. 

Great to see this has been put to bed and Munroe can go on to help improve the brand and how they operate in terms of diversity. 

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