Uoma Beauty's Founder Is Challenging Brands to 'Pull Up or Shut Up'

Sharon Chuter created the challenge in response to brands' #blackouttuesday posts.

Uoma Beauty Hiring Black People
Photo: uomabeauty/Instagram

Uoma Beauty founder Sharon Chuter has one message for beauty brands and the rest of corporate America: Pull up or shut up.

The beauty entrepreneur's latest initiative, #PullUpOrShutUp challenges brands who have shared public statements of support to the Black community in the wake of the extrajudicial killing of George Floyd by police force to be transparent about their hiring practices by sharing the number of Black employees they have in leadership and executive roles at their companies.

Chuter launched her call-to-action on Jun. 3, asking consumers not to make any purchases from their favorite brands for 72 hours, while we wait for them to publicly share their employee lists.

“This is not an exercise in naming and shaming, but simply a call for all brands to review their own practices," Chuter says in an email. "It’s easy to say racism is other people’s problem but it’s important at this critical point in time that we all look at how we may have contributed to this issue and have the humility to accept it and make an effort to change it."

Chuter's campaign is a response to many brands' statements and participation in #blackouttuesday, a social media movement that was intended to amplify Black voices, the Black Lives Matter movement, and information on ending systemic racism. Her goal is for brands make long-term changes by holding themselves accountable and practicing what they preach behind the scenes of their companies all the time.

"Black people remain starved of economic opportunities," she also says in her email statement. "We can create long term economic change for Black people by simply holding brands accountable to practice what they preach. Many don’t even have options in their product ranges for Black people and it's 2020!”

Chuter further explained the goal of the challenge in a video on Pull Up or Shut Up's Instagram:

As a former LVMH executive, Chuter knows what it is like to be one of the only Black people making decisions at a company.

"I couldn’t accept the lack of diversity and inclusivity in beauty. More than that, I couldn’t accept that brands were starting to move into that space but it was from a place of tokenism," she previously told InStyle about her experiences that led her to create Uoma Beauty. "And I know this because I worked within those brands. I wanted to come out and really show what inclusivity means to me, which is allowing people to be their true authentic selves and have a seat at the table."

Pull Up or Shut Up has already generated over 8,000 followers in 24 hours, with many of them tagging brands they want to respond to the challenge.

Celebrities and prominent Black beauty influencers including Jackie Aina are also showing their support.

In an Instagram video, Aina echoes why public brands' public statements of support for the Black community isn't enough:

As of publishing time, no brands have come forward. We will update this post if and when any do share their numbers.

UPDATE 6/5: Several brands including Makeup Revolution, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Milk Makeup, Wet n Wild, and Versed have responded to Chuter's challenge. Find their employee breakdowns below.

This post will continue to be updated as more brands come forward.

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