Cheryl Tweedy’s spokesperson has responded to comments made by model Munroe Bergdorf about her removal from L’Oréal’s diversity-centric advertising campaign.
Munroe made headlines recently when she was fired by the beauty brand over comments she made about institutional racism, in the wake of last month’s Charlottesville protests.
Making an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Victoria Derbyshire’ show, Munroe called out L’Oréal for allowing Cheryl to continue as one of the faces of the campaign, given her assault on toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa in 2003.
“I shouldn’t be sacked for calling out racism when I was in a campaign that was meant to be championing diversity,” she said.
“Especially when I was speaking about the violence of white people, but they’ve got Cheryl Cole on the campaign and she was actively convicted for punching a black women in the face.”
Following her comments, a representative for the former ‘X Factor’ judge issued a statement to OK! magazine, claiming Cheryl was “disappointed” to hear her name brought into the discussion.
“More than 14 years ago Cheryl was unanimously acquitted of a charge of racially aggravated assault,” they said.
“She is disappointed to find her name involved in Munroe Bergdorf’s media interview.”
While Cheryl was cleared of racially aggravated assault, she was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was sentenced to sentenced to 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay her victim £500 in compensation.
In a statement following the court case, she said she was “thankful that the jury had accepted that this incident has nothing to do with race”.
“I’m not a racist, and anyone who knows me knows I would not say anything racist,” she added.
Last week, in response to being fired by L’Oréal, Munroe clarified her comments about systemic racism in a lengthy post on her Facebook, in which she insisted: “When I stated that ‘all white people are racist’, I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy – designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race.
“Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist.
“We also live in a society where men are SOCIALISED to be sexist. Women are SOCIALISED to be submissive. Gay people are SOCIALISED to be ashamed of their sexuality due to heterosexual people’s homophobia. Cisgender people are SOCIALISED to be transphobic.
“We do not need to be this way. We are not born this way and we can learn to reject it.”