Is This Lipstick Offensive? Sephora Pulls a Kat Von D Shade From Shelves

11/07/2013 at 04:48 PM ET

Kat Von D lipstickJason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Courtesy Kat Von D

When you consider the vast array of lipstick and nailpolish shades out there, it can’t be easy coming up with fresh names for various hues of red, pink and nude. (Although it does sound like a pretty great job.) But angry customers are drawing the line at a lipstick called “Celebutard” by Kat Von D.

The tattoo artist and reality star’s lip color line, Painted Love, sports sassy names like “Hellbent” and “Backstage Bambi,” even “Underage Red.” But parents of children with developmental issues were not willing to overlook “Celebutard,” which they say is insulting and offensive.

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“People with disabilities are the last to benefit from what some might call ‘political correctness,’ and what I would call basic human decency,” says Kim Stagliano, managing editor at Age of Autism, in the HuffPost Style blog. “Retard is still bandied about.”

Sephora pulled the shade from shelves and its website and issued a statement of apology, via CTV: “It has come to our attention that the name of one shade of a lipstick we carry has caused offense to some of our clients and others. We are deeply sorry for that, and we have ceased sale of that shade both in our stores and online.”

Kat Von D was not exactly full of remorse, Tweeting, “At the end of the day, it’s just a f—— lipstick,” before deleting the Tweet.

Do you think the name is offensive?

–Sheila Cosgrove Baylis

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Showing 151 comments

lknepher on

Kudos for the company for responding appropriately. Perhaps Kat is upset because she doesn’t get royalty payments from it anymore – who knows? Words have meaning and hurt – and why do we need to hurt people? I certainly don’t like to hurt people and when I do, by mistake, I apologize.

ColeB on

Using the word “retard” or it’s short form “tard” to imply someone or something is stupid, dumb or idiotic is EXTREMELY offensive to those who actually have developmental disabilities. “Celebutard” doesn’t imply anything celebratory as others have suggested. It is used to describe an idiotic celebrity. As a parent and teacher who works with developmentally disabled children, I’m thrilled this was pulled from shelves. Those of you who can’t understand why this word is so offensive should spend some time with a family whose child has Down syndrome. You’d never use the word to poke fun of anything or condone it’s use in that way again.

MzM on

So…are they going to pulls Nars blush now? (I certainly hope not because Orgasm and Deep Throat are great blushes.)

Bell on

The name of this lipstick is very insensitive; why didn’t anyone notice this prior to it going out for public purchase? Its funny that Sephora pulls it because someone spoke up, but why didn’t anyone (marketing, purchasing, management, etc.) notice this prior to selling it to the public? Not good public image for their company. Kat’s image is already trashy so she can keep on going, no one cares. But come on Sephora!

Robyn on

Walk a mile in the shoes of someone who cares for kids with disabilitiesc Sephora just should have known better. The word Celebutard is a mash up of celebrity and retarded. It’s about compassion and human decency-not being “over sensitive.”

Jaki on

It would sell if she re-named it Karthrashian..

Sue on

My guess is that 99% of those who are not offended by the name don’t have a child with developmental disabilities. For those of us who do, it’s offensive.

carmel on

If the color was called
Downs-sational
or
Nig-shade
or
Quad-tatious
Would that be ok? I’m pretty sure there would be a HUGE outcry.
But reference to retard is ok? I guess nobody you love has ever been called a retard, then

Twyla on

Some don’t understand why the word “celabutard” is more offensive as a lipstick name than, for example “leotard”.

From the Urban Dictionary: “A famous stupid person… A mash-up of the words “celebrity” and “retarded,” the word celebutard refers to any of a crop of famous people (mostly young, mostly filthy rich) who are unable to form complete sentences in a public setting. In fact, they probably couldn’t even grasp the concept that “celebutard” is made up of two separate words.”

This word incorporates the word “retard” which is used in an offensive way, e.g. “You retard!” to call someone a totally worthless loser.

I don’t think the adjective “mentally retarded” is considered to be offensive, when used appropriately.

lalaland on

i dont see the problem if anything it was making fun of hollywood and celebrity culture

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