Continuing the trend of giant, multibillion-dollar companies replacing the church as keepers of mankind’s moral codes, cosmetic and beauty company L’Oreal announced on June 26 that it will pull words like “whitening” and “fair” from product descriptions, reports CBS Sacramento.
The announcement comes amid media-fueled anti-racism protests that have broken out worldwide in a presidential election year.
“The L’Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products,” the French cosmetics giant — the world’s largest — said in a statement.
L’Oreal was the target of backlash earlier in the month following a post on Twitter stating it “stands in solidarity with the Black community, and injustice of any kind.” The company’s attempt at a “good deed” did not go unpunished; the post drew comments accusing the company of hypocrisy for dropping model Munroe Bergdorf from its brand in 2017 after he made comments about systemic racism.
To further confuse the matter, Bergdorf is transgender, a man pretending to be a woman.
Bergdorf said on Twitter that L’Oreal Paris brand president Delphine Viguier, “expressed regret for how the situation was handled” following a parley between the two. The company rehired Bergdorf and he will now also enjoy a spot on the UK company’s “diversity and inclusion advisory board.”
L’Oreal isn’t the first company to make changes to its brand as skin-lightening products come under fire in a year where the media have focused almost solely on coronavirus and what it deems to be racism.