Every now and then in this modern-day world, you come across a piece of content and try to fathom how nobody caught the problem before publishing to the masses. There’s the whole Pepsi debacle, and this particularly creepy Bloomindale’s holiday campaign. Swedish retailer H&M recently ran into some pretty serious trouble over their decision to have a young Black boy model a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweater.
Street-style star and cofounder of Dallas-based The Tot Miroslava Duma may have a slightly lower reach than the above brands, but her 1.6 million Instagram followers (nothing to sneeze at) did witness a similarly poor decision while viewing her Instagram Story on Monday night.
Duma, who is currently attending Couture Week in Paris, shared a photo of flowers with a note from Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko that read “To my [N—] in Paris,” a nod to a 2011 Kanye West and Jay-Z. Apologies were quickly issued. (Sergeenko’s original, rather convoluted post has since been deleted, but you can read it in full here.)
But the clueless damage was already done. Duma may not have written the racial slur herself, but her decision to share it on Instagram was egregious enough for her Tot cofounder, Dallas’ Nasiba Adilova, to swiftly remove her good friend from the board.
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I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions of Miroslava Duma at Paris Fashion Week overnight. We have always held a no-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of racism or discrimination. Power and influence is a privilege and it needs to be carried with humility. I take this immense responsibility very seriously and believe actions speak loudly. Effectively immediately, Miroslava Duma has been removed from the board of the company @thetot. I stand by @thetot's decision, and hope this inspires people to consider how their actions and words affect others.