In a move that may prove unpopular with animal rights activists, Lea Michele has reportedly just landed a lucrative contract to promote cosmetics giant L’Oréal. According to the New York Post, the deal is rumored to be worth $1M and will feature the “Glee” star as one of the faces for the brand.
While not the head scratcher that is Ellen DeGeneres’ decision to front for notorious animal-tester CoverGirl and its parent company Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal recently has earned its own scorn from AR groups.
The company, long praised for its stance on zero animal testing, was recently stripped of the internationally-recognized “Leaping Bunny” logo (which designates companies as cruelty-free), after it was revealed that they had resumed testing for the $16B Chinese cosmetics market.
By law, all companies wishing to sell cosmetics in China must fund animal testing of their products in Chinese laboratories in order for them to be sold to the public.
Back in July, comedian Ricky Gervais blasted companies like L’Oréal, Johnson and Johnson, Pantene, and others for their decisions to abandon their principals for the sake of profits.
“China’s cosmetics market is worth billions of dollars and virtually every major global cosmetic company is getting a piece of the action,” he continued. “It remains one of the few countries in the world to insist on animal testing, so companies manufacturing there have made the very clear choice to test lipsticks and shampoo on animals to increase their profit margins.”
Thankfully, not all companies have put on the blinders to embrace China. After finding out that they would have to pursue animal testing in the country, hair-care giant John Paul Mitchell Systems put all sales on hold and refused to comply with the law.
“Since Paul Mitchell was founded in 1980, we have been cruelty-free,” CEO and co-founder John Paul DeJoria told the UK Daily Mail. “We do not conduct or condone animal testing on our products, and we will not attempt to market our products in China until alternatives to animal testing methods have been accepted by the government.
He added: “Paul Mitchell always has been and always will be cruelty-free.”
It could be that Lea knows absolutely nothing about L’Oréal’s testing in China, but playing the ignorance card isn’t something of comfort. For someone as passionate about animal rights – from the plight of NYC carriage horses to anti-fur PSAs to pet adoption – it’s a bummer of a move.
“I have such a passion because I adore animals so much,” she said earlier this year. Now’s the time to pull a Paul Mitchell and prove it.
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