Emma Watson has issued a statement in response to accusations that she helped to promote skin lightening in a Lancôme advert from 2013.
‘Many artists often have limited control of how their image is used once an endorsement contract is signed,’ a spokesman for the actress has said.
‘I cannot comment on my client’s previous contractual arrangements with Lancôme. However my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women,’ he added.
The 25-year-old is known for being a poster girl for feminism and women’s rights, but earlier this week, many of her supporters stated their disappointment in the star.
The advert was from 2013, and whilst we’re not sure how old the images are, or if Emma knew what they’d be used for, the advert is still clearly promoting a skin-lightening product in the brand’s ‘Blanc Expert’ line.
It’s worth noting that the product is described on Lancôme’s website as ‘helping to prevent dark spots in the skin, associated with age and exposure to the sun’, and NOT as a whitening product.
Still, women on Twitter have expressed their outrage.
‘Horrified at @EmWatson fronting a whitening product’, one user slammed.
‘I’ve been rooting for Emma Watson since I was a child, but her advocacy of skin bleaching products & the underlying racism is indefensible’, another wrote.
‘In endorsing skin bleaching products, Emma Watson endorses the hierarchy of race, colourist, and the inherent whiteness of beauty standards.’
Skin whitening products, which have strong connotations with countries such as Korea and India, have always been controversial, as they raise questions about race and social hierarchy.