Jeanne Deroo, Editor of French Elle, created an uproar after she released a photo of herself wearing blackface and an Afro wig. Deroo claimed that she was attempting to portray Solange Knowles while attending a private party. But after posting the picture on her Instagram page, it instantly went viral.
Once the picture caused outrage, Deroo apologized on Twitter by writing, “I realise how much the fact of painting oneself brown is an offensive act. I didn’t realize the seriousness of my action when I went to a private party last Saturday evening, which [sic] the theme was “Icons” and I chose to embody Solange Knowles, of whom I am a fan. During this private party, I posted a picture of myself on my Instagram without intention of hurting anyone. I deeply regret and would like to present all my apologies. I would also like to indicate that this picture published in a private context does not involve in any way the French ELLE magazine.”
However, Deroo’s actions should not be forgiven. As an editor at a prominent publication, Deroo has the common sense to make an appropriate judgement when it comes to how she presents herself. She knew exactly what she was doing when she painted herself in blackface. Her negligence should result in suspension or firing from ELLE.
Deroo is a major voice for the ELLE brand. If Deroo isn’t’ reprimanded, it proves that the publication is willing to allow racist attitudes to exist without repercussions. Hopefully, advertisers will take a deeper look at what ELLE truly represents.