By: Eden Dawn
Last week a producer from a local daytime television show, Portland Today, reached out and asked me to come on air to do a Claws Out segment. “Your business came up in conversation,” she said, ”And we would love to brag about you to the public.” In my day job as a Fashion Editor, I’ve done dozens of television segments over the years and clearly outlined my on air talking points with the producer beforehand:
· Why we donate 20% of profits to charity groups.
· What makes our polish different than a drug store variety (vegan, 5-free, made using local vendors).
· Why our “Nude” nail polish is different than any before. (It’s the first “nude” polish to go with every skin tone!).
· What it’s like being a brand that’s considered political when conventional business logic is to not include politics in your brand.
· How we have a polish named after the Portland icon Darcelle (who holds the Guiness World Record for “World’s Oldest Living Drag Queen”) which donates to Darcelle’s chosen charity Camp KC, part of the Cascade Aids Project.
I went to the KGW studio on Monday to shoot my segment live to tape, meaning they treat the show as if it is live, but it airs after the fact. We filmed the approximately 3 minute segment with one host painting her nails and the other asking me questions as I shared the Claws Out mission. We were laughing and having fun, typical television banter. It was set to air Wednesday. That afternoon I received the following email from a producer, “Hi Eden. I wanted to follow up after Monday’s taped segment. Our news director has asked us not to air the interview based on a few of the pointed political references. Portland Today is mostly entertainment, but still under the news umbrella at KGW so we have a responsibility to stay balanced.”
Let me tell you the things they silenced and deemed inappropriate:
When asked why we started the company, I said after Trump was elected we were concerned some of the things we believe in were going to lose funding. FACT: The GOP has been trying to defund Planned Parenthood every day, and just this week Mike Pence has said he believes he can and will end abortion “in our time.”
We mentioned we give donations to the Cascade AIDS Project. FACT: We do, and they’re wonderful.
We said we’re proud to have a “Nude” polish that works for all skin tones when typically a nude beauty product leaves out women of color. FACT: It does, and bringing awareness to the exclusion that often comes in the beauty world matters to us.
When asked what our best seller is and where it donates, I said Uterus and to Planned Parenthood, to which the hosts giggled. FACT: It is our best seller and we donate to Planned Parenthood.
When asked what’s coming up for us I said we have more polishes coming and a t-shirt whose sales donate to additional causes such as The Bus Project (who register young voters) and Everytown who are working toward “common sense gun control.” FACT: I don’t believe children should be shot at school, nor do I believe that should be a partisan issue. And turns out, most of America agrees.
So now that we’ve been declared too hot for TV, are we going to be quiet? Hell no! The foundation of Claws Out is supporting progressive causes, doing what we want with our nails and our voices, and giving back to all these groups who are making the world a better, safer place. You in?
Update: A big thanks to Willamette Week for writing about the incident and sending a whole lot of supporters our way.