On behalf of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), I am offended by the use of the unnecessarily offensive name 'Celebutard' as a product in Sephora stores. As an actor, advocate, ambassador, and individual with Down syndrome, I am personally offended by the use of the word "retard" or “retarded” in any derogatory or inappropriate context.
Our mission at NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. At NDSS, we envision a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities. People with disabilities, like all people, deserve to be treated as valued citizens and not referred to in a hurtful manner for any purpose.
Negative and inaccurate public perceptions are the greatest barriers that we face in achieving acceptance and inclusion. More often than not, we are underestimated our whole lives by people who focus on our disability, rather than our abilities, and by those individuals who perpetuate outdated stereotypes.
How we treat each other goes a long way. I challenge you as a corporation to celebrate inclusion throughout all aspects of your business, from employing people with disabilities in your stores, to how you are promoting and marketing your products, to viewing individuals with disabilities as customers and consumers. Thank you for discontinuing the sale of this product in your stores and online.