MANILA, Philippines – Several international brands have cut ties with Kuwaiti social media influencer Sondos Al Qattan on Tuesday, July 24 after videos of her ranting against overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) went viral on social media, getting backlash.
In a statement reported by The National, cosmetic giant Max Factor said it was "shocked by the comments made by the influencer Sondos Al Qattan." Max Factor said they immediately suspended all collaborations with Al Qattan.
London-based cosmetic company Chelsea Boutique also said in tweets they've decided to remove videos of Al Qattan on their channels, adding, "decent working conditions should be provided to everyone."
Thank you for sharing your concerns, we’ve decided to remove the video sponsored by Sondos on our channels. We believe that decent working conditions should be provided to everyone and such behavior does not represent our brand’s core beliefs. — Chelsea Beautique (@ChelseaBeautiqu) July 21, 2018
According to Gulf News, France-based perfume brand M Micallef also cut ties with Al Qattan, saying they were "absolutely shocked" by her behavior and "deeply regret the relationship with her."
Meanwhile, Shiseido, who have worked with Al Qattan before, also told The National that it "does not support or align with the recent statements made by Sondos Al Qattan.”
Al Qattan, a make-up artist and social media celebrity in Kuwait, sparked outrage for a social media post slamming the Kuwaiti government's policy to give Filipino domestic workers rest days and bar employers from holding their passports.
MAC Cosmetics, one of the world’s largest makeup brands, also denounced Al Qattan’s remarks and said that they would no longer be working with her.
“We currently do not have any partnerships with her and will no longer be working with her on any brand activities,” the company said, as reported by Gulf News.
The company added that it strives to align itself with partners that “share our core values and in no way tolerate excluding anyone.”
South Korean cosmetic brand Etude House also distanced itself from the blogger, telling Gulf News, “as an Asian-origin company....[Etude House] supports the uplifting and betterment in living conditions of domestic help in the Middle East.”
Etude Philippines also said they “believe and support the right for all Filipino workers to be given greater protection and good working conditions.”
US-based brands Anastasia Beverly Hills and Phyto USA also released statements condemning Al Qattan’s remarks.
Phyto said in a statement they “do not tolerate any kind of racism and abuse” and asked their distributor in Kuwait to end all partnerships with Al Qattan immediately.
Founded over 50 years ago out of love and respect for nature and our customers, PHYTO is an international brand that works hard to send a message of respect, beauty and ethics. We were very surprised and troubled when hearing about the cruel comments made by @sondos_aq and do not tolerate any kind of racism and abuse. Soon after finding out about her dreadful actions, we contacted our local distributor in Kuwait and requested that any partnerships with Ms Alqattan were put to an end effective immediately. We take our brand's values very seriously and will not support such behavior or have it associated with our products. Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité. A post shared by PHYTO PARIS USA (@phytousa) on Jul 24, 2018 at 5:45am PDT
Anastasia Beverly Hills meanwhile said they will never condone any “hateful, discriminatory views” and that they have unfollowed Al Qattan and removed her from their PR list.
In an instagram post on Thursday, July 24, Al Qattan stood by her words, saying that she has never mistreated or degraded any of her employees, and that the passport of employees should be in the possession of employers to "protect the employer's interest."
Don’t judge a person without full understanding of the situation. Just because you don’t agree, doesn’t mean that you’re right! A post shared by Sondos Alqattan سندس القطان (@sondos_aq) on Jul 23, 2018 at 3:02pm PDT
Migrant group Blas F. Ople Policy Center has earlier urged the Philippine government to include Kuwaiti social media celebrity Sondos Al Qattan in its list of undesirable employers.