The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced last week that they have partnered with Procter & Gamble, which sells controversial lightening cream Olay, the Mirror reported.
“Meghan has talked a lot about the issue of race and racism so it comes out like a sore thumb,” said Alex Malouf, a former Procter & Gamble executive.
The company’s Olay brand sells White Radiance moisturizer in India, Malaysia and Singapore, the Daily Mail reported.
Skin lightening creams are advertised for their ability to reduce the concentration or production of melanin, which gives the skin its pigment.
Critics have called for similar products to be taken off shelves, saying they are inherently racist and colorist.
Nina Davuluri, who was the first Native American to win Miss America, argued that the creams promote a “racist” ideology “that you need white skin to be beautiful, you need white skin to be successful.”
Joanne Rondilla, a professor at San Jose State University, added that the Sussexes have a “responsibility” to address concerns about the product with the company.
“Like everyone in the world, I saw this interview with Oprah that Meghan had,” she told the outlet.
“It was important for[Meghan} to raise these colorism issues, I don’t think that the partnership should go ahead with this conversation”[Meghan} tobringuptheseissuesofcolorismIdon’tthinkthispartnershipadvancesthatconversation ”