It’s Pride Month, and that means that brands are showing off how down with LGBTQ community they are. And, unfortunately, it seems that for every brand that does well, another brand does something utterly tone-deaf. This year, Sephora played the role of Gallant, with their free makeup classes for trans and non-binary people. Sadly, it’s time for Ipsy, the subscription beauty box brand, to play Goofus; this year’s Ipsy Pride Video stumbled into transphobia in the first 15 seconds.
The Ipsy Pride Video opens with model Cassandra Bankson. Bankson says “I’m attracted to women. And there’s definitely a spectrum between trans women, between authentic cis-gendered women and everything in between. But at the same time I believe that love is beauty, and I can find that in many different places.”
Many people were upset and angered by the implication that trans women are somehow “inauthentic.” Activist Kat Blaque shared her thoughts on the matter in a long Twitter thread, mirrored at her Facebook. She calls out Ipsy for not editing out the line, saying that it’s “pretty clear evidence that this company doesn’t truly care for the LGBT community… much like every other company that, around June, decides to put rainbow flags on things to sell products.”
While Bankson herself was quick to apologize, first through a written statement, and then through a video (embedded above), Ipsy was slower to act. Initially the brand appeared to double-down on its transphobia. Ipsy’s social media team deleted comments critical of the Ipsy Pride video, and members of their support staff criticized those who complained on Twitter:
Ipsy eventually did take the video down and posted an apology on Facebook and Instagram. The company admitted it was wrong to have deleted comments, and said it was “looking for ways we can reduce the damage caused by the post and aftermath.” It has yet to clarify what those ways might be.
For what it’s worth, the transphobic comment wasn’t the only gaffe in the Ipsy pride video. Other commenters also called the brand out for not featuring any bisexual representation in the video. And though on Ipsy’s Facebook apology, the brand claimed it was no longer deleting comments, at least one commenter said their comments had been deleted after the apology went live.
Watch the offending clip of the Ipsy pride video below:
Was the apology for the Ipsy pride video enough? What would you like to see Ipsy do to make amends? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image from Cassandra Bankson’s Facebook