Yesterday Shea Moisture released the first of an ad series to promote their products and to say black women were outraged, might be the understatement of the year.
Before I go any further, watch the ad for yourself:
I was honestly truly disappointed with the ad because last week I sat and watched for at least 30 minutes, Richelieu Dennis the CEO of Sundial Brands reaffirm his commitment to the roots of Shea Moisture* and black women in particular on Facebook Live.
I agreed with everything he said because black women literally helped to give that company the momentum it needed at the very beginning so its continued commitment to our needs is only natural. (or so we thought!)
When the ad was released Twitter went nuts, here is a snip:
Black women built SheaMoisture. And not the “I was teased for having good hair” Black women. Black women will take it right on down too.
— Kimberly N. Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) April 24, 2017
Shea Moisture centered white women in a black woman space and that is so hurtful. Yall not getting my coins. Them white women can have yall
— busan babe™ (@melaninbarbie) April 24, 2017
After the outrage, Shea Moisture released a statement on their facebook page:
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, 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. 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. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better.
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…
But women were still upset and did not buy the apology either:
Wow, at least your apology and commerical are consistent in their lack of mention or sight of black women. Maybe your PR department and your marketing team need some of the “erasure” you seem insistent on perpetrating on your core customers? BLACK WOMEN
Then there was this one:
GTFOH…don’t try to issue damage control now! And to try to swear when your trying to issue a public apology like your trying to go out of your way to show your “down with the blacks” is even more offensive
If we were to look at this from a business stand point we understand that Shea Moisture needs to grow and expand and to do that they have to include other demographics including white women. The question we have is can Shea Moisture expand and still be inclusive of their core base?
In my opinion they should have had one comercial with all the women they represent, represented in the video! Let me know your thoughts below.
By the way if you are interested in what Richelieu Dennis of Shea moisture* said on Hellobeautiful Live just a week ago, watch below.
How do you feel about this whole thing? Would representation of a black woman with kinky* hair have been enough to avoid outrage? Comment below!