With 70 percent of consumers expecting companies to take a stand on social justice issues such as the refugee crisis and women’s rights, many companies have begun sharing messages of acceptance for groups facing adversity. And this year, we saw a landslide of companies show their support for the LGBTQ community in celebration of Pride Month. Now, one brand that has been flying the rainbow flag since 1994 is building on its philanthropic support and advancing rhetoric around the issue to increase awareness.
Twenty-three years ago MAC Cosmetics established the MAC AIDS Fund, the philanthropic arm of cosmetics giant MAC, which has given more than $450 million to organizations focused on the rights and health of women and the LGBTQ community. Recognizing that true support goes beyond fundraising, the company is celebrating Pride Month by increasing the cultural visibility of the LGBTQ community by partnering with Showtime and transgender director Silas Howard to commission the documentary film More Than T. The film aims to shed light on the diversity of individuals within the LGBTQ community by introducing seven transgender individuals with seven vastly different stories to tell. Describing the initiative, senior vice president of MAC Cosmetics and global executive director of MAC AIDS Fund shared, “We specifically hired a trans director to tell stories around trans folks and all of the challenges and issues that they face because the bottom line is, none of those pieces of legislation or employment practices are going to change until people know someone who is trans.”
Although MAC has longstanding philanthropic ties to the LGBTQ community, giving it authenticity among the group, it recognizes its support must continue to innovate with the evolving conversation. The makeup brand acknowledged that a strategic partnership with members of the LGBTQ community and Showtime could build on its philanthropic efforts to expand the brand’s message with additional perspectives and a deeper insight into what types of conversations need to be prompted as we fight for acceptance and equal rights.