Actress Lauren Potter, best known for playing Becky Jackson on Glee, started the conversation with her tweet to Sephora asking, "Really, Sephora, celebutard? Not cool." Potter, who has Down Syndrome, triggered a cascade of negative attention by both regular consumers and groups such as All About Developmental Disabilities, which prompted the cosmetics giant to respond.
Personally, I'm actually pretty satisfied with Sephora's apology. It reads as sincere and they took tangible action to correct the problem by refusing the sell the offending product. I do wish that they had included a "And we'll try hard to not pull crap like this in the future".
Sephora's response has been totally acceptable, but Kat Von D's was far less elegant. The tattoo artist tweeted, "At the end of the day, it's just a fucking lipstick." This tweet demonstrates a deep and fundamental lack of empathy for individuals with intellectual disabilities and for their friends and families. My older sister has Down Syndrome and I promise that all it takes is a receptive conversation with her for it to become overwhelmingly obvious how harmful slurs like "r*tard" can be. If it's just a fucking lipstick, why choose a name that is needlessly hurtful?
Furthermore, although I'm happy with Sephora's decision, I'm not happy with their narrow scope. Hey Sephora, can we get Kat Von D's "Underage Red" pulled next? ...please?
P. S. My sister totally wears lipstick. Just so you know.