Roommates, Burt’s Bees has found itself at the center of cancel culture after a Twitter user collected some of the images from the company’s website, and one family stuck out like a sore thumb. The now viral collage features photos of families from BurtsBees.com and the company is apologizing for perpetuating the stereotype that black fathers are not present for their families.
In the apology, the company states that it was not their intention to “promote harmful stereotypes” and admits they used the photo despite some family members being unavailable to attend the photoshoot. The company says it was forced to reschedule the shoots due to the pandemic, which conflicted with the Black father’s schedule. The mother, however, still chose to participate with their two daughters.
“We are deeply sorry for the hurt this image has caused,” the statement reads. “We recognize the importance of portraying families in a way that doesn’t promote harmful stereotypes. Our choice to use the photo when part of the family was not available for a rescheduled photoshoot was wrong, and we have removed the image from our website.”
The company has since removed the photo from its website and says it is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive space within its organization, where “representation matters”.
“Please know that Burt’s Bees Baby is actively and continually working on our own inclusion and diversity journey as an organization. Our mission has always been to do good, to be kind, to care for all families, our planet and each other.”
It is not clear whether or not Burt’s Bees plans to implement diversity and inclusion training for its employees, similar to companies like Starbucks, which found itself in a similar predicament back in 2018. The company’s Twitter account, however, is actively responding to customers critiquing the photo, ensuring that the company will “do better.”
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