Presenter London Hughes revealed that a make-up artist working at the BBC put hot chocolate on her face because ‘they didn’t have make-up for black people’
A TV presenter has said a make-up artist put hot chocolate on her face, because she didn’t have any products for dark skin tones.
London Hughes, who currently stars on ITV2 music gameshow Don’t Hate The Playaz, revealed the shocking incident whilst appearing on the ‘Fortunately’ podcast, where she retold the story to demonstrate the racism she has encountered over the years.
Speaking on the podcast, she said: “I used to present on CBBC and one of the make-up artists there put hot chocolate on my face because she didn’t have any make-up for black people. That was in 2012.
“She didn’t realise I was black [in advance] so she panicked. She had Waitrose organic hot chocolate. She didn’t tell me that she was putting it on my face, I found it in her make-up kit.”
“I asked my producer to ask her what she put on my face and she confessed that it was hot chocolate. In her defence, she didn’t put Tesco’s own brand on there, it was Waitrose organic at least.”
Hughes, a former children’s TV host, shared that this was just one of the many encounters of ‘well-intentioned’ racism she comes across, as she mentioned another interaction whilst on a BBC writing course in Kent.
She recalled: “One day a woman came in to help with our writing and she was so lovely, but I was talking about one of my characters and she said, “Oh, maybe you should write about your characters’ parents”, and I said, “Yeah OK, maybe I can include my parents?”
“And she was like, “Yeah, maybe include their history or how they felt when they came here on the boat from Africa”. So I said, “Erm, my dad was born in Crawley and my mum was born in Jamaica, but she definitely came here by plane”. And she was like, “Oh, I’m so sorry”.
“She wasn’t being horrible, but that’s just what she thought.”
A BBC spokesperson said to the Daily Mail: “We are unable to verify what London has said as we don’t appear to have any record of this. But everyone in the broadcasting industry knows how seriously we take diversity and reflecting modern Britain, as evidenced by our output and representation targets.”
Since the podcast was released, many have taken to social media to share their thoughts on Hughes’ experience.
One Twitter user wrote: “She should have sued honestly. If they didnt have her shade they should have went and bought her shade instead of using hot chocolate powder wtf,” while another said: “If you want to be a professional makeup artist you need to be prepared and have all the shades. Even if that means hauling around 4 suitcases of cosmetics. Insulting!”