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Jakarta Post

Poster for antifeminist and LGBT event triggers backlash against Wardah Cosmetics

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana
    Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 22, 2020   /   03:10 pm
Poster for antifeminist and LGBT event triggers backlash against Wardah Cosmetics Love wins: A passerby hugs an activist campaigning for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people during Car Free Day in Jakarta on June 16, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

A poster for an antifeminist and lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) event supposedly sponsored by Wardah Cosmetics has sparked an online backlash against the halal makeup producer. 

The poster was first posted on the Instagram account of a religious organization called Majelis Umat Rabbani Nur Islam (MURNI), advertising an open discussion about "The Dangers of Feminism and LGBT".

The post was taken down at noon on Wednesday after Indonesian feminist website Magdalene wrote a comment objecting to the poster's use of one of its illustrations.

When contacted by The Jakarta Post, Wardah Cosmetics public relations staff member Suci Hendrina said the company was looking into whether it was a sponsor of the event.

A number of activists, feminist groups and other social media users have also asked whether the makeup company was sponsoring the event and threatened to boycott the brand if it did.

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A post shared by Indonesia Feminis (@indonesiafeminis) on

"Bad marketing, @wardahbeauty. Do you think that there are no feminists or LGBT people among your customers?" the Indonesia Feminis community wrote in a post on Instagram. "If it's true that you are antifeminism and anti-LGBT, we will stop using Wardah."

LGBT rights activist Lini Zurlia tweeted that she was considering boycotting Wardah over the issue, but was concerned that the move would affect the company's workers.

Hartoyo, the director of Suara Kita, an NGO focusing on LGBT rights, also chimed in through a tweet. 

"Is it true that @wardahbeauty supports this event?" he wrote. "Aren't many of Wardah's customers women and LGBT people? Why are you being mean to your own customers?

A few hours after the poster on MURNI's Instagram account was taken down, the Instagram account of the Al-Mukhlishin Mosque, where the event was supposed to take place, posted a different poster of what seems to be the same event.


A post shared by Masjid Al-Mukhlishin (@masjid.almukhlishin) on

The poster did not have Wardah's logo and the event was now titled "Feminism and LGBT from the View of Islam."

Wardah did not immediately respond to the Post's further requests for comment.

Editor's note: This article has been updated.