Shea Moisture, the black-founded hair products company, apologized Monday after being dragged on Twitter for essentially saying “all hair matters.”
Shea Moisture was viciously stomped by black Twitter after releasing a new video ad that included white women (see below). The hair care company — whose consumer base is mostly African-American women — was trying to expand its market by reaching out to white women.
This is a wise strategy for any small business that wants to grow. Before the Twitter outrage, many non-black women had never even heard of Shea.
SheaMoisture is CANCELLED pic.twitter.com/T4Dru1JgAq
— 𝕹𝖆𝖓𝖆 𝕵𝖎𝖇𝖗𝖎𝖑 (@girlswithtoys) April 24, 2017
Rather than applaud Shea Moisture for trying to expand, many black women on Twitter accused the company of dissing them and selling out to white women.
Hours after releasing its controversial video ad, the company apologized in a groveling Facebook note. “Wow – we really f-ed this one up! Please know that our intent was not, and would never be, to disrespect our community,” the company wrote.
Shea Moisture is owned by Sundial Brands, which was co-founded by Liberian immigrant Richelieu Dennis, his mother Mary Dennis, and his college roommate, Nyema Tubman.
In 2015, Bain Capital — a private-equity firm co-founded by Mitt Romney — acquired a minority stake in Sundial Brands. At the time, Bain executives said its goal was to boost Sundial’s growth by targeting a broader market that wasn’t limited by ethnicity.
Any true fan of Shea Moisture should want it to expand its customer base and product offerings because that would reduce prices for its shampoos and conditioners, which sell for a hefty $10 a bottle. Instead, black Twitter was offended, saying Shea should continue to focus exclusively on them. Because all hair does not matter.
The Shea Moisture fiasco should be proof that we aren't exaggerating. We really can't have anything to ourselves. THANKS Shea
— CODIne (@SheaButtaBaddie) April 24, 2017
i saw 'shea moisture' trending and i just knew white folks did something they had no business doing.
boy was i right.
— read ‘border and rule’ by harsha walia! (@queersocialism) April 25, 2017
Shea moisture just hit us with the AllLivesMatter version of a natural hair commercial. they in the sunken place…sigh
— Jamelle (@JamelleWD) April 24, 2017
Some people got upset that Shea’s brand strategist is white:
Others trashed the haters, saying their outrage over the inclusion of white women in Shea Moisture ads is racist.
The fact that #BlackTwitter is so upset about a white girl in the Shea Moisture ad just proves how racist they really are. I mean who cares?
— John doe (@juhhhjgghk) April 25, 2017
Wait so people mad because Shea moisture put a white person in their ad? Y'all some real life racist my G
— Spain without the S (@FrankieStonez) April 25, 2017
Meanwhile, many joked that Rachel Dolezal (who has since changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo) should be Shea’s new rep:
Rachel Dolezal will probably be the community outreach person for Shea Moisture now. pic.twitter.com/ZZL8CB9TDG
— Brother Nyght (@wondermann5) April 24, 2017
"ID LIKE TO ANNOUNCE MY NEW POSITION AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF SHEA MOISTURE" pic.twitter.com/yy3RzjjiTo
— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) April 24, 2017
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