Makeup company cuts ties with ex-Miss Universe Malaysia after controversial Black Lives Matter comments

Tan Mei Zi
James’ comments have triggered massive backlash both at home and abroad, with many labelling her words as uninformed and ignorant. — Picture from Instagram/samanthakayty

PETALING JAYA, June 2 — Local makeup company Velvet Vanity has cut ties with ex-Miss Universe Malaysia Samantha Katie James following her racially-charged comments on the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

The brand issued a statement on Instagram last night to denounce James’ views while clarifying that they are no longer affiliated with the former beauty queen.

“Since the beginning of our journey, we are dedicated to cater to everyone albeit their skin colour so for us to support her (James’) wrongdoings would be contradictory to our brand name.

“Any posts featuring (James) was made way before this case and we are not affiliated with her anymore.

“As a brand, we support #blacklivesmatter and we would never associate ourselves with racist behaviours in any way,” read the statement.


James previously modelled one of Velvet Vanity’s lipsticks in a post on her Instagram feed.

Following her controversial remarks on the ongoing protests in the US, social media users began tagging Velvet Vanity en masse, with one user asking the brand to “stop sponsoring racists.”

Pageant organiser Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (Mumo also issued a statement on Monday night distancing themselves from James in light of her tone-deaf remarks.

James sparked fury online yesterday after she posted a series of controversial Instagram Stories labelling those campaigning in anger for racial justice as “foolish humans.”

The 25-year-old also told African Americans to “relax, take it as a challenge” and claimed that they “chose to be born as coloured (people) in America for a reason, to learn a certain lesson.”

When people began criticising her lack of knowledge on racial discrimination because of her social privilege, she hit back and said that she had been “insulted all (her) life for being a white girl in a local Malaysian school” and that her headmistress had warned her “not to bring Western culture” to her classmates.

James is of mixed parentage and has a Malaysian-Chinese mother and a Brazilian father.

Her online gaffe made headlines on various online portals yesterday, including UK newspapers The Independent and the Daily Star.

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