No, Girl: Bethenny Frankel Says Black Women Should Hire White Men As The Face Of Their Companies
It’s no secret that Bethenny Frankel has done quite well for herself with the Skinny Girl franchise. So, with her expertise, it’s only natural that other women entrepreneurs would want to hear what advice and words of wisdom she has to offer to those are attempting to follow in her footsteps. But instead of serving as an inspiration, she disempowered women, particularly Black women, with some terrible advice.
According to Mary Pryor, a social strategist audience engagement and tech advisor, Frankel, in a Rent The Runway’s and USB’s Project Entrepreneur event, implied that women should have sex with men in exchange for capital. But she didn’t stop there. Pryor writes: “I was offended when she expressed some kind of kinship with black women because she’s “loud.” And I was taken aback when she advised those of us in the room to get business advice to hire a white man as the face of our companies.”
Frankel’s comments weren’t recorded but there were several other attendees who corroborated Pryor’s story.
I don’t have to tell you all how disturbing and misguided these suggestions are. Using White men as the face of a company doesn’t address the real issues behind the lack of diversity in entrepreneurship. And it doesn’t address the racism present that prevents Black women receiving funding for the businesses we do have. Sleeping with men for capital is an option but certainly not an advisable one at an event meant to empower women beyond their skills in the bedroom. I can’t tell if Bethenny thought she was there to tell bad jokes or what; either way, it was a fail.
Pryor tweeted this series of messages in response.
Project Entrepreneur issued this apology.
“Thank you for standing up and speaking your mind. The fact that you felt shut down is completely contrary to the goals of the weekend. We apologize to you and our guests. We believe that every founder is enough on her own. We disagree with any sentiments to the contrary. There is so much that goes unsaid in this movement and we want to encourage the conversation around this topic. Thank you for your work with @digitalundivided and your advocacy on behalf of those who have not had a voice for so long.”
And what did Frankel have to say in regard to all the backlash?
Do better Bethenny.