Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face backlash over their partnership with Procter & Gamble that sells ‘racist’ skin-whitening creams.
Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that Archewell Foundation had signed a ‘global partnership’ with US multi-national Procter & Gamble (P&G) to ‘build more compassionate communities’.
However, the deal has attracted criticism on P&G’s hugely controversial sale in Asia and Africa of whitening creams.
Campaigners demanded that P&G and other major cosmetic companies stop selling such creams. They claim that the products fuel a ‘toxic belief’ that ‘a person’s worth is measured by the color of their skin’ and that lighter skin is better than dark.
Alex Malouf, a former P&G executive, said Harry and Meghan will be pressured to say whether they support the sale of such skin-lightening products.
“Meghan has talked a lot about the issue of race and racism, so this does stick out like a sore thumb,” Malouf said.
Cosmetic firms have faced increasing pressure amid the increase of the Black Lives Matter movement and claim that the use of such products is deeply rooted in colonial history.
Just last year when BLM erupted worldwide, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will drop its Fine Fairness line, which was available in Asia and the Middle East, Buzzfeed reported.
L’Oreal Group on the other hand, also announced its plans to remove ‘white/whitening’, ‘fair/fairness’ and ‘light/lightening’ from the names of its products, while Unilever revealed that it will rename the Fair & Lovely line.
Despite the other cosmetics firm’s bold move, P&G remained to sell the popular White Radiance and Natural White products through its Olay brand. Olay then defended such products by comparing them to tanners or make-up.
The Archewell Foundation said its partnership with the controversial P&G will focus on ‘gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport’.
While P&G did not respond to questions about its skin-whitening creams, the company said in a statement that the firm is committed to doing what is right.
“At P&G, we are committed to doing the right thing across all aspects of our business – without exception,” P&G said in a statement. “Doing more and doing better is important for us all – for our company, in our communities, and for our planet.”