Hair products company Shea Moisture became a trending topic on Twitter Monday night as users expressed their anger over featuring white actresses in its latest commercial.
The advertisement, which featured both black and white actresses promoting the company’s hair products, was received poorly by Twitter users who accused the company, which has historically tailored their products to black women, of abandoning their original customer base:
So @SheaMoisture just for more money youre gonna abandon your purpose and the ppl who build your company?
— Vikki (@_olds0ul_) April 25, 2017
NOT one dark skinned female in the Shea moisture commercial smdh . So none of us have textured hair is what y'all saying
— … (@_currentlybusy) April 25, 2017
I gotta throw away all my Shea Moisture now? 😕
— Shenaira (@YO_Allen) April 25, 2017
— Ariel (@2Asquared) April 25, 2017
Other, however, defended the company for its inclusiveness in the commercial:
Wait wait wait wait, correct me if I'm wrong, are ppl mad that #SheaMoisture included all races in their commercial? R ppl mad over unity??
— Wild Wild Seth (@SpikeReeds) April 24, 2017
Cheating on @SheaMoisture is like cheating on my barber. Some things you just don't do. Btw are you all hiring interns for your legal dpt?
— Jamaal Edwards (@LLcool_Jaye) April 25, 2017
— Fuddge X (@FuddgeX) April 25, 2017
Shea Moisture released a full apology following the backlash.
“Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community,” reads the apology, “and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape.”
“So, the feedback we are seeing here brings to light a very important point,” it continued. “While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way.”
“We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair,” said the company. “So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better.”
The apology ends stating, “Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We’re listening. We appreciate you. We count on you. And we’re always here for you. Thank you, #SheaFam, for being there for us, even when we make mistakes. Here’s to growing and building together…”