Freida Pinto claims she is ‘sure’ L’Oreal lightened her skin tone in 2011 ad campaign as she hits out at skin-lightening products
Freida Pinto has revealed she believes L’Oreal lightened her skin in a 2011 campaign she did for the company.
The Slumdog Millionaire star became a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris in 2009 and, although the company denied lightening her skin at the time, she believes otherwise.
She told The Guardian in a new interview: ‘I’m sure they did, because that’s not the colour of my skin you saw in a few of the campaign.’
Controversy: Freida Pinto, 34, became a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris in 2009 and, although the company denied lightening her skin, she believes otherwise
After the controversy first happened, Freida insisted on having a clause written into her contract that she would not be involved in promoting any skin-lightening products.
She said: ‘All the brands, including L’Oréal, have a skin-lightening range that they sell in India and I made them put it in my contract that I would not touch that with a barge pole.
‘If you don’t put it in your contract before you sign on, they can come and you will be compelled to do it.’
After making her concerns heard, the actress noted she never had any issue with skin-lightening again.
She told The Guardian: ‘I’m sure they did, because that’s not the colour of my skin you saw in a few of the campaign’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Freida for comment.
At the time of the campaign, L’Oreal denied they had retouched the photo.
In a statement, they said: ‘It is categorically untrue that L’Oréal Paris altered Ms. Pinto’s features or skin-tone in the campaign for Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” limited-edition collection.’
Frieda’s first film role was in Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, before which she had little acting experience.
Although she had always been interested in the performing arts, she did not decide to pursue an acting career until watching the 2003 drama film Monster, starring Charize Theron.
Change: After the controversy first happened, Freida insisted on having a clause written into her contract that she would not be involved in promoting any skin-lightening products
In the film, Charlize underwent a dramatic physical transformation to portray serial killer Aileen Wuornos, with the role winning her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Freida previousy told Interview Magazine: ‘I guess it was when I watched Monster… I pretty much knew. I had to find a way. I had to do something like that, something completely transformational.’
The actress admitted she previously considered walking away from the industry in the past and at one point did not work for two-and-a-half years.
Freida turned down several roles during this period and admitted she didn’t regret it as she didn’t think they were worth her time.
She noted that she did not struggle financially during this quieter period of her acting career thanks to her endorsement deal with L’Oreal, saying she will be grateful to the company forever.
In the past: After making her concerns heard, the actress noted she never had any issue with skin-lightening again