This week, L’Oreal, ran its first advertisements with a British Muslim woman, but now it’s only Hijabi woman has stepped down and the ads have been taken down.
Why would a company who claims to champion diversity remove the ads and accept her resignation?
Because after the ads came out, L’Oreal claimed they received negative responses to it.
Apparently, in 2014, Khan had tweeted her opinions of Israel. After the ad came out, the old tweets were uncovered. And enough people contacted L’Oreal about it to make them change their minds.
Which totally defeats the purpose of the ad in the first place! It was meant to be an ad to champion diversity. But someone “out there” finds an old tweet and the company completely reverses itself.
Khan has apologized publicly, saying she deeply regrets the context of the old tweets and never meant to hurt anyone. “Diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. That old tweet does not represent who I am or what I stand for. I have chosen to step down from the campaign because the current conversations surrounding it are detracting from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”
But, social media has come to Khan’s defense. Twitter has been critical about L’Oreal’s decision, arguing she shouldn’t have to step down because of her political opinions and her departure from holding non-mainstream beliefs would appear to defeat the original purpose of including her.
Sunny Hundal wrote, “A British Muslim woman has been hounded out from an ad campaign for being critical of Israel. So criticising countries is racist now?”
@AmeenaQuazi wrote, “Amena Khan should not have apologized, and Zionists need to stop conflating anti-occupation with anti-Semitism. They know exactly what they’re doing when they pull that shit.”
@are_eb wrote, “Notice the double standard. Gal Gadot: Ex Israeli soldier who openly supported the IDF’s 2014 war in Gaza that killed 2,200 Palestinians. Not forced to apologize Amena Khan: Muslim woman who tweeted support for Palestinian children killed in Gaza 2014. Forced to apologize.”
L’Oreal had been applauded for its decision to include her. Now, not so much.
A statement issued by L’Oreal of Paris says only that they agree with Khan’s decision to step down, and still argue they are a diverse company. Well, I guess unless your Muslim.