Reps for Emma Watson and Lancôme Issue Statements on Skin Lightening Commercial

It's a nuanced conversation that deserves attention.

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Emma Watson has come under fire for an old commercial she filmed for Lancôme, and it looks like she's erring on the side of an apology. Sorta. 

The Harry Potter actress and active feminist filmed a Lancôme commercial for the Asian market back in 2013, but it's currently making the rounds online and drawing some criticism from people who have legitimate concerns about the concept of skin-lightening—not to mention skin-lightening products being promoted by white women.

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Lancôme's take on the issue? "Blanc Expert was created by Lancôme 20 years ago," the company tells Refinery29. "It helps brighten, evens skin tone, and provides a healthy-looking complexion. This kind of product, proposed by every brand, is an essential part of Asian women's beauty routines."

While Lancôme's statement maintains that Blanc Expert is less a lightening product and more of an evening product (shades of grey?), Emma Watson's rep implied that she'd withdrawn her name from the campaign due to the fact that it doesn't represent all women.

"I cannot comment on my client's previous contractual arrangements with Lancôme," the rep said in a statement. "However, my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women."

The issue of skin lightening versus skin evening is definitely one that deserves to be parsed through, but that aside, it's clear that Emma Watson isn't comfortable representing a product that does either. 

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Mehera Bonner
Entertainment Editor

Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.