Jessica Mulroney has apologized after a dispute with fellow Canadian Sasha Exeter resulted in Bell Media removing her "I Do, Redo" reality series from its networks and Hudson’s Bay and Cityline cutting ties with the celebrity stylist.
In a video posted to Instagram on June 10, Sasha, a popular social-media influencer, said Jessica, a close friend of Duchess Meghan, "took offence" to a call to action she made encouraging bloggers and influencers to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sasha said "a series of very problematic behaviour and antics" ensued, culminating in "a threat in writing last Wednesday.”
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I’ve been silent. Not anymore! I’m used to being so transparent on this platform. I think it’s the main reason why most of you follow me. Today, I’m opening up about something that has been haunting me for the last week. I have felt like a complete fraud fighting for racial equality and using my voice openly here, while letting a white woman silence mine behind closed doors. In sharing this very personal story, I know that I am risking a lot. Opening myself up to criticism, bullying and potential ramifications with my job in this space. However, I must speak my truth. Enough is enough. Hopefully my voice will be heard by many and help change things for the next generation and for my daughter Maxwell... because I will be dammed if my child ever has to deal with this level of ignorance.
"During the span of about a week or so, Jessica basically ticked every single box of what a white woman should absolutely not do during the biggest racial uproar in history," Sasha said in her video, adding that the exchanges had scared her as she believed her livelihood was at risk.
Jessica responded to Sasha's video on June 11, just before Bell Media made the announcement that it was pulling "I Do, Redo."
"I want to say from my heart that every word of my apologies to Sasha over the course of the last two weeks privately, and again both publicly and privately today is true," she wrote on Instagram. "I did not intend in any way to jeopardize her livelihood. We had a disagreement and it got out of hand. For that I am sorry.
"I also know this is not about me, nor should it be about me. It is about the Black community that has been subject to racism, discrimination and violence for far too long.”
She went on to say she had contacted Sasha about taking over her Instagram to tell her story, and wanted to open her account to other Black celebrities and influencers to do the same.
In a statement announcing its decision to pull "I Do, Redo," CTV said Jessica's conduct "conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality."
"Bell Media and CTV encourages our entire team including our on-air talent to practice respect, inclusivity and allyship as we pledge to work better and more openly to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimize them," the statement also said.
The lifestyle show
Cityline, on which Jessica made guest appearances as a stylist, also issued a statement, saying: "Cityline fans – we want you to let you know that Jessica Mulroney will no longer be appearing as a guest expert on our show."
On June 12, Good Morning America also announced Jessica would no longer appear on the show.
"As Jessica Mulroney said last night, she is stepping away from her professional engagements and that includes Good Morning America," a tweet read.
Late in the day on June 11, Hudson’s Bay said Jessica would no longer represent the company or Kleinfeld Canada as a fashion and bridal specialist.
A message from Hudson's Bay. pic.twitter.com/4sHeBTOFni
— Hudson's Bay (@hudsonsbay) June 12, 2020
"Over the past week Hudson's Bay has committed to do better," the company said in a statement. "We are taking stock of how we do business, including who we work with, to ensure we are contributing to the change the world needs now.
"As we move forward, our leadership, associates and ambassadors must reflect our brand values of inclusivity, equality and respect for all. We will not tolerate anything less."
Jessica released another statement following CTV's decision in which she said she was "wrong" and was taking time away to "reflect, learn and focus on my family." She also said she respected CTV's decision.
"The events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do," she said. "I realize more than ever how being a white, privileged woman has put me far ahead of so many, and in particular those in the Black community. And while I can't change the past, I can do my part to do better in the future."
Jessica has used her substantial Instagram following to defend others. Last year, she posted a strongly worded message when Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, were criticized for using private jets to vacation in Europe.
"When someone faces unfair criticism, you call it out,” she wrote. "When that person is your friend and your family, you call those critics what they truly are. Shame on you, you racist bullies."