Guerlain Faces Legal Action Over Racist Comments

Guerlain is currently in the centre of a racial storm in France, after one of of its best known perfumiers said he "worked like a nigger" to create a new fragrance.
Anti-racism groups have threatened to sue the perfume house for the offensive comments which has seen angry protesters take to the streets of Paris in fury. During a television midday news bulletin a fortnight ago, Jean-Paul Guerlain, 73, a descendent of the perfume house's founder, was asked about the brands classic fragrance Samsara, which was inspired by his first wife. He replied: "I worked like a nigger. I don't know if niggers have always worked like that, but anyway."

** Pause**

Race relations in France are strained at the best of times, so these comments would have done little to simmer the underlying racial and cultural tensions that have been making the headlines of late.

Protesters gathered outside Guerlain's Paris store after Jean-Paul Guerlain said he "worked like a nigger" on a perfume.

Protesters gathered outside the Guerlain boutique on the Champs Elysées last weekend, calling for a worldwide boycott of the perfume house and its owner, the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy, because of the racist slur.

Patrick Lozès, of France's Representative Council of Black Associations, said the fact Guerlain felt so at ease using it on national TV was symptom of the "deep sickness" of racism in French society. He condemned LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) and the Guerlain company for not reacting to the comments quickly enough.

Jean-Paul Guerlain

US civil rights leaders, including Al Sharpton (oh you're in trouble now), who are visiting France next month, have asked for a meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss Guerlain's comments.

The French designer later apologised, saying in an e-mailed statement, “My words do not reflect in any way my profound thoughts but are due to an inopportune misspeaking which I vividly regret.”

Guerlain head office said his words were unacceptable. LVMH released a statement condemning "all forms of racism". Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, said Guerlain's comments were "pathetic".

This doesn't impress me at all, but sadly it doesn't surprise me either. I don't think that comment was an accidental slip of the tongue, but instead was just a small insight into Guerlain's ignorant mind. No doubt such language was deemed acceptable in his youth and bandied about in a casual manner on a regular basis, but in 2010, you've clearly lost your mind if you think you can repeat derogatory language like that (on live television no less) and not expect an angry and disgusted response to it.

Guerlain - nil point.

15 beauty lovers have sumthin to say:

Sana said...

I am shocked however not surprised. France has had a lot of press regarding their inability to accept different races, cultures and faiths. They may be quick to condemn and release statements but what really goes on in their minds?

Guerlain aint anything special anyway. Pah.

Jennifer said...

that's uncalled for..

Hell Notes for Beauty™ said...

What a moron..

BoldNBeautiful Makeup said...

Im so disgusted with these types of behaviours! "worked like a Nigger" how do "niggers" work? Damn hard I might say all the years of slavery and we still came out as successors! in words of Obama "YES WE CAN" and YES WE DID!

Jo said...

Unbelievable seriously unbelievable.

Theres not a chance he didn't know what he was saying. Its 2010 for fuck sake. My 9 year old son knows what that word means and how offensive it is, because a kid at school called his dad one, so theres not a chance a man of his age didn't know how offensive a phrase like that is.

Guerlain - MINUS nil point


Karleigh said...

Was he on something when he said that?! Bloody hell! Unless it was a publicity stunt......?

Random Star said...

I'm not upset by his comment. At first read I actually found it hilarious and a compliment. At his age people tell it like it is. No sugar added. So lets put it in perspective. He is saying that he worked as hard as our ancestors did on the plantation. The correct term is nigger. I see it as recognition that we're hard working people regardless of the ill treatment and inadequate pay.

Shortiee31 said...

Wow, how stupid could you get JP?!

Sharon said...

wtf does he know about a nigger lol Im surprised if he wants to sell his fragrances he better know proper words to use otherwise he should just shut e f*** up and sell his thngs quietly

une tasse said...

What an utter prat

SilhouetteScreams said...

He needs to jump off a fucking cliff with Maura Kelly from Marie Claire >=|

City Girls Fashion Box said...

so awful, what a bloody tosser! xxx

BrownieLife said...

Thanks for telling this story. Another popluar blog is reviewing lipstick from Guerlain. I think any & everything that's associated with this company should be boycotted not reviewed! @Random Star, yes my ancestors did work hard, against their will and under horrible conditions. If you want to pay homage to their work ethic don't call them nigga!!

SoFrolushes said...

This is more proof of the true nature of Frances deeply rooted racism which is why that country always makes the headlines for something linked to racism. If it is not attacking pregnant women in the street its killing asylum seekers and residents elsewhere.kmt

amber_j said...

The sad thing is it took over a week for the story to break in the mainstream news. Even now there's limited coverage compared to some of the other 'high profile' stories that are being churned out at the moment. As they say over here, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose."


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