Race Matters: Naomi Campbell Says She Was Turned Away By A French Hotel Because She’s Black

Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020 - Valentino - Arrivals

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Naomi Campbell Talks About Her Experience Being Barred From A French Hotel

Racism doesn’t stop just because you’re one of the biggest models in the world, take it from Naomi Campbell.

In an interview with Paris Match, Naomi revealed that she was refused entry to a hotel in the south of France because she is black. The model went on to say that she and a black friend were blocked from entering the hotel–which she decided not to name–despite having an invitation to an event that was taking place there.

Campbell recalled what happened, saying that door staff told them the place was full, even though they saw other people being allowed access at the same time. She called the incident “revolting” and said the encounter inspired her to “continue to express myself and make myself heard”.

Learning from the encounter, Naomi said she is always happy to help the new generation of fashion models, advising them never to let anyone take away their own self-esteem. When asked about diversity in the industry, she told the magazine that she always wanted everyone to be treated fairly and the fight for diversity continued.

The supermodel shared what happened at the hotel in an effort to make an example out of the situation.

“I was recently in a town in the south of France, while the Cannes film festival was going on, where I was invited to take part in an event in a hotel that will remain nameless,” she said. “They did not want to let us come in, my friend and me, because of the color of our skin. This guy at the door made out that the place was full. But he was letting other people in.”

When asked later if diversity had improved in the fashion industry over the past few years, she said she would “like to be able to say so”, citing the model Bethann Hardison as a pioneer. “I have always tried to remain an optimist on this issue,” She said. “I tell [new models] never to let anyone underestimate their value. You have to be strong and brave in this job and to surround yourself with your family and a good agent.”

Even when faced with moments of prejudice and racism, Naomi keeps her composure by not blasting their name all over the internet. A true class act.

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