Today I received a message from one of my Parisian homegirls inviting friends to a boycott of beauty and perfume brand Guerlain:
Why? Apparently master perfumer Jean Paul Guerlain used a racial slur while being interviewed on television station France 2. When talking about working on a fragrance, he said “I put myself to work like a [n-word]. I don’t know if the [n-words] have always worked hard, but…” ["Je me suis mis à travailler comme un nègre. Je ne sais pas si les Nègres ont toujours tellement travaillé mais enfin..."]
The actual word he used was nègre, which, translated, could mean anything from negro to coon to the n-word.
Here’s the video (in French):
The facebook invite says (and I paraphrase), “Call to all. Boycott products by Guerlain. I would encourage you to no longer buy their products in view of this racism. It’s very serious. He’s denying the value of the work of the black man! We’re fighting for a post racial society! We will have a silent protest in front of Guerlain on Saturday October 23rd at 3pm, if you have Guerlain products, bring them. We’ll all be dressed in black.”
One thing the French know how to do is protest. This should be interesting.
To read the French version, click here.