Meghan Markle is being labeled a “hypocrite” for entering what some on the left are calling a “toxic” partnership with Procter & Gamble which is selling an allegedly racist skin-whitening cream.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced last week that the Archewell Foundation has signed onto a multi-year “global partnership” with the company to “build more compassionate communities.”
At issue is Procter & Gamble’s highly controversial sale of skin-lightening creams in Asian and African countries. which claim to reduce the concentration or production of melanin in the skin. There have been widespread calls for the company to stop selling the massively popular products due to racist allegations.
Those protesting the products claim that they promote a “toxic belief” that light skin is better than dark skin and that a person’s worth is measured by their skin color. So far, the company is refusing to take the products off the market or rename them.
ITC – Vivel Active Fair
Johnson & Johnson – Neutrogena Fine Fairness, Clean & Clear Fairness Cream
Procter & Gamble – Olay Natural White & White Radiance Creams
Beiersdorf – Nivea Whitening Cell Repair Lotion
L'Oreal – White Perfect Lotion pic.twitter.com/0v3WrpeAJZ
— Z A I N 🇵🇰💚 (@ZainMaherSumra) August 28, 2019
Olay, which is a major brand for Procter & Gamble, sells the White Radiance moisturizer in India, Malaysia, and Singapore. In India, the product is promoted to lighten skin tone and deliver “radiant and brighter skin.” Olay White Radiance Light Perfecting Essence is sold in the Philippines. It claims that it “inhibits melanin formation in the deepest layer of skin.” In Lagos, Nigeria, you can buy Olay Natural White cream, which touts “pinkish fairness.”
A former Procter & Gamble executive named Alex Malouf says that the royal couple will be pressured to state where they stand on the sale of such products.
“Meghan has talked a lot about the issue of race and racism, so this does stick out like a sore thumb,” Malouf noted, according to The U.S. Sun.
There’s even more to the drama surrounding the products and Markle:
- The royal couple also faces calls to end their deal with Procter & Gamble because one of its biggest suppliers of palm oil has recently been accused of exploiting and abusing workers in Malaysia;
- The company is being blasted for its role in the destruction of large swathes of virgin forest in Canada. They reportedly buy an estimated 490,000 tons of wood pulp each year from Canada’s boreal forest;
- And a study by a major US environmental organization is positing that suppliers of wood pulp from the forest are eliminating the habitat of the woodland caribou.
Black Lives Matter is claiming that the use of skin-whitening products is deeply rooted in colonial history. Johnson & Johnson has already dropped their “Fine Fairness Line” after complaints from the organization. It was sold in Asia and the Middle East.
The wokeness is spreading in the skincare realm as the L’Oreal Group announced they are planning to remove the terms “white/whitening” “fair/fairness,” and “light/lightening” from their brands, while Unilever has announced plans to rename “Fair & Lovely” which is a popular brand in India.
Nina Davuluri, the first Indian-American to win the Miss America title, charged that skin-whitening products sell a “racist” ideology “that you need white skin to be beautiful, you need white skin to be successful.”
— Nina Davuluri (@NinaDavuluri) July 22, 2020
She first started protesting the products when she saw a headline in India that asked: “Is Miss America too dark to be Miss India” after she won the pageant in 2014.
— NDTV Movies (@moviesndtv) September 16, 2013
Davuluri started circulating a petition last year that urged P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal, and Johnson & Johnson to stop marketing whitening creams: “They are sending the message that people are ‘less than’ because they are dark. That they are not enough because of the color of their skin. That they are not seen, valued, or heard. This is racism.”
Joanne Rondilla, who is a professor at San Jose State University and who has researched skin-lightening that is taking place in the Philippines, said that the royal couple had a “responsibility” to speak out against these products: “Like everyone else around the world, I saw that interview with Oprah that Meghan did. It was important for her to bring up these issues of colorism. I don’t think this partnership advances that conversation.”
The Archewell Foundation is claiming that its partnership with Procter & Gamble will focus on “gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport.”
Procter & Gamble released a statement proclaiming: “At P&G, we are committed to doing the right thing across all aspects of our business – without exception. Doing more and doing better is important for us all – for our company, in our communities and for our planet.”
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