The move comes amid racism backlash within the beauty community
Beauty guru Jackie Aina has announced that she is severing ties with cosmetics brand Morphe. Sharing the news on Twitter, Aina explained that she will no longer align herself with a company that retails “antiblack racist beauty brands.”
“hey boos, as some of you may know as of this week I will no longer be a @MorpheBrushes affiliate. code “EDGES” has deactivated. I refuse to align myself with a company that continues to retail antiblack racist beauty brands. I strongly encourage other influencers to do the same!”
Although Aina doesn’t mention any names in the tweet, the move comes after renewed criticism around YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star who both have a long history of racism and offensive content. In the wake of the backlash Morphe appeared to remove the pair’s collaboration, the Conspiracy collection, from its stores, however the make-up brand continues to stock Jeffree Star Cosmetics products on their site.
Seeming to confirm this as the reason behind her decision, Aina retweeted a statement from fellow YouTuber Amanda Ensing shortly after making the announcement which directly addresses Morphe’s continued relationship with Star. “Jeffree Star has had multiple racist actions + vile behavior from his past up until today, yet morphe will pull everyone but him,” the statement reads in part. “Is it because of money? Is he held to a different standard than every other brand or Collab? How can we support a brand who supports this behavior and actions?”
Along with countless other racist incidents including a video showing Star telling a woman to “shut up you fucking n***** bitch...you’re a n***** you ugly ass bitch” and reportedly joking he wanted to throw battery acid on a black woman to lighten her skin to match her foundation, Star has called Aina a “gorilla.” In 2018, Aina tweeted saying of Star, “I have not and will not excuse his blatantly racist behaviour – nor his past references to me in derogatory terms, his continued use of the N word, nor his efforts to eliminate spaces and opportunities for people of colour,” she writes. “No one in the community should feel they are protected enough to continuously say things to make black women feel ugly and ashamed in their own skin.”
Despite Star’s behaviour, brands and other influencers have continued to work with him, something which Tati Westbrook apologised for in her recent video addressing the ongoing drama surrounding herself, Star, Dawson, and James Charles. In the 40-minute video, Westbrook gives a “long overdue” apology to Aina for not taking her denouncement of Star seriously. “Jackie, I'm sorry that I did not do the right thing and walk away from him then. I should have not been blind to the reasons behind the accusations of his racism. I shouldn’t have defended him.”
In her video, Westbrook also says she believes Star is a co-owner of Morphe, something she thought contributed to Star orchestrating her feud with Charles. Morphe, however, has since denied these claims. A representative for Morphe told Insider that Star retains no ownership of Morphe. “He's not an investor. He's not a co-owner. Our only relationship is through retail distribution of Jeffree Star Cosmetics and our 2019 MorpheX collaboration.”