Total Beauty Gives $10K To Charity After Black Star Mix-Up At Race-Sensitive Oscars

Total Beauty 1

During its social ambush of the 2016 Oscars campaign, the cosmetics brand Total Beauty mixed up two of Hollywood’s leading black stars, mistaking Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah, on its twitter feed and fuelled a social backlash amidst the ongoing Academy Awards race inequality controversy.


Total Beauty posted an image of Goldberg at The Oscars whilst expressing surprise that the person who they thought was in the photo (talk show host, actress and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey) had tattoos.



The problem further confounded another Oscars error from Total Beauty when it confused Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte in another post.




The mistake went viral and the brand was immediately mocked and parodied across social media for its error and generated a backlash hashtag #ThatsNotOprah.


Many used Twitter to ask whether the beauty site was intentionally trolling those following the Oscars and its #OscarsSoWhite race debate.



The following morning, Total Beauty used the #ThatsNotOprah hashtag to announce it was making a $10,000 charity donation to an organisation supported by the two stars.





There is a simple, but vital message here for everyone activating around properties: just because it is real-time social media, doesn’t mean you don’t fact check like you would when working in traditional media.


It also reinforces our opinion that brands should keep quiet on social unless they have something genuinely important, entertaining, useful or good to say.




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