L’Oreal Make History and then Backtrack After Bad Publicity

L’Oreal Make History and then Backtrack After Bad Publicity

It seems like every time someone makes the news for something positive these days, they get exposed on social media and end up as the bad guy in their story. A few weeks ago there was the story of the bullied kid who opened his heart to the camera, won praise from millions of people on social media and then was then swamped by negative publicity when it was alleged that he had made racist comments and his mother was seen with a Confederate flag. There was the writer who was given a major position in the UK education system, only to have old tweets revealed in which he made some bigoted comments and now we have the story of Amena Khan and her L’Oreal campaign.

The Positive Campaign

Amen Kham is a muslim social influencer who became the first hijab wearing model to be featured in a shampoo commercial. This was big breakthrough and one that should have only been positive. Of course, shortly after the campaign launched and the media got behind her there were many detractors who claimed that it was “stupid” and “pandering” because her hair was never even shown.

That was besides the point, and we personally think that L’Oreal did a very good thing here in making the beauty industry a little less exclusive. However, it didn’t take very long for this story to turn on its head, and as so often is the case it was the result of previous tweets that the model had made.

The Backlash

Amena Khan posted tweets back in 2014 that spoke out against Israel and the war in Gaza. Some of these tweets have been pasted below:

‘Israel = Pharoah. Both are child murderers. Insha’Allah, defeat also awaits the former; it’s only a matter of time. #HopeForGaza #SaveGaza’.

“U repeatedly say “nobody is above the law”. Well, under international law, Israel is an illegal state. Yet u support them. EXPLAIN.”

These tweets were inevitably exposed immediately after the campaign. These days a journalist doesn’t need to trawl through trash or stalk someone in order to dig up dirt. It just takes a few hours of Twitter-trawling and they have the info they seek, which is what happened in this case.

After the backlash hit, Amena Khan pulled out of the campaign, tweeting:

“Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. “I have chosen to delete them as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for.

“I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity. “With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”

Was it Justified?

No, plain and simple. She probably shouldn’t have said what she said, but she simply expressed an opinion that many people have and one that was not in any way racist, homophobic, sexist or even that negative. We could understand if she had made claims that all Christians should be burned alive, or that all men were useless. In fact, several people in high positions have faced backlashes for tweets similar to these and they have deserved every negative comment they received. But Ms. Khan did none of that.

She no doubt annoyed a lot of people in Israel and there will certainly be many people who disagree with what she said. She also made allegations about them that might not be true. But she’s talking about the actions of a country and its military. She’s not making derogatory claims about individuals, she’s not alleging things that have no basis in truth or are in anyway bigoted. If what she did is so negative and so shameful then does that mean that everyone who speaks out against Donald Trump should be equally ashamed? Is everyone who makes allegations about the US government’s involvement in foreign wars, about Trump’s intentions and about the questionable allegiances with oversea’s territories in for the same treatment?

I personally don’t believe that free speech should include hate speech, and nor does UK law. But when that speech is not hate-filled, I fail to see how this could be reason for Ms. Khan to withdraw from the campaign. She criticized a war, she didn’t poke fun at a race—the fact that she is on the receiving end of so much backlash is nothing short of ridiculous.

In Other News

We’ve had a lot of emails about recent posts on legal issues following faulty products and in particular hair straighteners. We can’t advise on these directly, but we can point you in the right direction. There is a slip and fall attorney serving Savannah that may be able to help you with such cases and related ones near and far, and you can find more local lawyers through the APIL

We’re also doing a lot of work to bring some more varied content to you, ranging from bathroom essentials (use this link to learn more) to health conditions and more. So watch this space!