Viral skincare expert Skincare by Hyram has announced he’s permanently leaving Twitter after receiving backlash for accepting a speaking position at the Black Girl Profit panel.
The event, which took place virtually on September 6th, was a free full-day conference organised by Black women in the beauty industry, including writer and growth marketer, Louisa Kinoshi. With an aim to “demystify the skincare industry” and help Black beauty brand founders scale their business, Black Girl Profit consisted of two panels, a virtual unboxing of the sponsored goody bags, and a Shark Tank-esque pitch competition to win a prize from the Pinterest Creator team. The conference was stacked with some of the most influential names in the beauty space both online and offline— namely, Fenty Skin’s Senior Brand Marketing Manager Holly Cann, Allure’s Digital Editor Jihan Forbes, and influencer and licensed esthetician Tiara Willis of @MakeupForWomenOfColor.
Amongst the scheduled panelists was Hawaiian-based influencer Skincare by Hyram. Despite holding no formal credentials in the beauty space, Hyram has become a cult fave amongst skincare junkies for his science-based approach to skincare and his no-bullshit advice.
With over 3 million YouTube subscribers and 6 million TikTok followers, Hyram is no stranger to feedback, however his planned participation at the Black Girl Profit summit caused a flood of backlash, prompting the influencer to pull out of the conference last minute.
“I will no longer be speaking at the Black Girl Profit event,” Hyram tweeted one day before the event. “Although I was requested by the panel of amazing Black women, I don’t want to contribute to the erasure or diminishing of Black voices within the skin care space.”
As a white male influencer, many felt Hyram’s participation at the event would not only be redundant but would also be taking an opportunity away from a Black female expert in the space, given the subject matter and target audience.
“I trust the reasoning of the panel for requesting me, and I never wanted to reject a request to use my platform for inclusivity,” he continued. “But after speaking with them, I feel it’s best to not be involved. I learned a lesson in overstepping and I don’t want to hurt anyone again! I will continue to promote & collaborate with Black creators on my channel & advocate for equal representation of POC & Black individuals. It is my duty as a member of this space!”
Hyram then revealed that he will permanently exit Twitter, leaving behind over 120K followers. He clarified that this decision comes after “multiple instances of being held appropriately accountable” for contributing to the misrepresentation of minorities and the erasure of BIPOC voices. Hyram also cited his mental health as a reason for leaving the platform.
The organisers behind Black Girl Profit have since responded to the backlash, taking to Twitter to explain their reasoning for inviting Hyram to speak.
The team started by thanking the community for their feedback and emphasised how important diversity and inclusive in beauty is to BGP. “We are super passionate about diversity and inclusion beauty and are familiar with the struggles most Black beauty brand founders face as we also own businesses and have faced the same struggles,” they wrote.
On asking Hyram to speak, organisers explained that they invited two non-POC to “donate their time” to contribute to the event— not to replace Black female voices.
They also shared that non-POC speakers were asked to provide their large platforms to amplify some of the brand founders attending the conference to provide opportunity for the brands to grow.
Ally education was another reason they chose to invite two non-POC speakers, writing, “By inviting them we can also keep up the spirit of educating allies and challenge them to continue to advocate for inclusivity and diversity. Let them also carry the burden if they are true allies.”
Though opinions are split on Black Girl Profit’s decision to include non-POC panelists, many felt Hyram should have declined from the get and requested a Black creator or entrepreneur take his place.
The skincare enthusiast sent his final tweet today, tagging Black beauty creators to follow and thanking both fans and critics for holding him accountable. “I hope I can serve as a reminder of accountability and what not to do,” he finished. “Remember to ALWAYS fight for the rights & representation of ALL minorities. I love you all!”