A transgender former L’Oreal Paris model who was sacked by the cosmetics giant for saying “all white people” are racist has been appointed by a Labour frontbencher to an advisory panel.
Munroe Bergdorf has been asked to sit on an LGBT+ advisory board by shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler.
Last year Bergdorf made headlines when she called on people to boycott L’Oreal after being sacked over a Facebook post responding to the killing of an anti-racism demonstrator who was opposing a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville in the United States with controversial comments.
The model wrote: “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.
“Because 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.
“Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.
“Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.
“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.”
The model later clarified her comments in an interview with the Guardian, saying she had written an “epic three-parter” on how “racism is a social structure and how, if this is the case, what can you do to combat racism?”
She said her mother was angry about her post, telling the newspaper: “That was an awful conversation. I’m half-white. My mum thought I was lumping her in with everyone, but this isn’t about individuals.
“To understand my point, you have to take yourself out of the conversation – it’s not about you – and truly think about society, structurally, economically, as a whole.”
Her role as part of a group advising Ms Butler is unpaid and the panel is not managed by Labour.
A spokeswoman for Ms Butler said: “Dawn is proud to stand with those challenging discrimination. Dawn will consult with the LGBT+ advisory group on a wide-range of LGBT+ issues.”
Conservative vice-chair Helen Grant urged Ms Butler to reconsider the appointment.
Citing Bergdorf’s history of controversial comments, Ms Grant said: “There really is no excuse for these abhorrent slurs and, fundamentally, they damage the campaign to promote equality and diversity across public life.
“When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, he promised a ‘kinder politics’. Yet it seems every day we see some new example of abuse from the Labour Party. The kind of language Bergdorf has used has no place in public life, and ought to be condemned by all those who are serious about promoting equality.”