Emma Watson has said she no longer models in beauty products which "do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women" over recent criticism relating to her appearance in a "skin whitening" advert in 2011.
Since the old advert resurfaced in an article on GalDem on Monday, the 25-year-old actor has come under fire from fans for being the face of Lancôme's “Blanc Expert” line abroad.
“Many artists often have limited control of how their image is used once an endorsement contract is signed," a spokesman for Watson told The Independent.
"I cannot comment on my client's previous contractual arrangements with Lancome. However my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women,” he added.
Lancôme's “Blanc Expert” line refers to itself as a “skin whitening product” on its website but the description explains that it is for removing pigmentation marks and dark spots rather than bleaching skin. In one particular product, Lancôme describe the range as “the next generation dark spot correctors from the No.1 whitening brand in Asia”.
The actor and feminist campaigner, who is best known for playing Hermione in Harry Potter, reportedly appeared as the face of the French company’s campaign from 2011 to 2013.
The skin whitening industry is a growing market and Global Industry Analysts predict that the whitening industry will be worth some £14 billion by 2018.
Sparking a huge online debate, fans have criticised the UN ambassador on Twitter.
Lancôme declined comment on the issue.
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