A friend asked Roderique to visit two of the department store’s downtown stores on Monday, where she found her photo prominently at both checkouts. The photos were there since June 25.
“It was very violent having what is the iconic photo of me, the cover of my Globe article ‘Black on Bay Street’, something that I associate with very positive memories, now co-opted into my blind to fundraising for an organization I don’t want to fundraise for, ”Roderique said.
Roderique’s image was used for HBC’s Charter for Change campaign which solicits donations to “support educational, employment and empowerment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, Blacks and People of Color across the country “.
Several notable Canadians are taking part in the campaign, but Roderique said neither she nor Luis Mora, her photographer, had given the retailer their consent.
“It was deeply problematic to me and quite ironic that they claim to support black empowerment but use my image without doing any basic checks,” Roderique said. “It was quite disappointing. “
Roderique, who is an equity, diversity and inclusion consultant, journalist and prominent lawyer, also took to social media, lambasting the retail giant for responding with an apology.
Hey @hudsonsbay, it would have been a good idea for you to get my permission to use my face and associated activism to solicit donations “to support IBPOC employment and empowerment”, right? pic.twitter.com/uuBasqDN7N
— Hadiya Roderique (@hadiyaroderique) July 5, 2021
A spokesperson for HBC also told CityNews that the image was used in error, saying it came from the website of a photographer who served as inspiration when developing the campaign.
“However, it has not been updated, as expected, to reflect one of the Canadians participating in the Hudson’s Bay Charter campaign for change. We deeply regret the error and contacted Dr Roderique to explain and correct, ”the press release read.
“I still have a bunch of questions about this because I don’t know how [with] an internally inspired document, how I then end up on the final copy of the ad. Usually there are a lot of checks and balances, ”said Roderique.
Roderique said she spoke with the company and plans to have another conversation with HBC where she hopes to learn more about the campaign and how funds are allocated to support their cause. .
She also hopes the company will donate to a charity of her choice associated with black and Indigenous causes.
“It happens all the time to black designers. The words, art, images, thought leadership and writing of black creators are taken by others and used by others often without their consent. Regardless of the circumstances in which this happens, it is not good.
CityNews contacted Luis Mora, the photographer, and the agency that represents him, but have not received a response.