A Wichita makeup artist who won a national contest discovered that her support for Donald Trump in an Instagram post during the 2016 presidential election was enough to disqualify her after the fact.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Gypsy Freeman was declared the winner last month of the "Saint + Sinner Contest" on Instagram sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty. Kat Von D is a tattoo artist and reality TV star from the show L.A. Ink.
Freeman won the contest with her submission of a striking Instagram image of an angelic figure in white contrasted with a Goth girl in an all-black outfit.
As the winner, Freeman and a guest would have been flown to Los Angeles to attend the launch party of a new makeup line from Kat Von D. She also would have received a $500 gift card to the makeup chain store Sephora. The total approximate value of the prize package was $2,100.
But when Freeman was announced as the winner, curious social media loiterers went to her Instagram page and lo and behold, there was a pro-Trump post from Election Day last year.
That very evening, she received a direct message from Kat Von D’s personal Instagram account, telling her the celebrity had “drawn a personal line in the sand between myself and anyone who supports that man,” according to screenshots of the conversation.
“My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against. And I just need you to know that I personally have a hard time with inviting anyone who would support such an anti-feminist, anti-homosexual/LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-climate change fascist such as Trump.”
Freeman replied: “I won’t be upset with you if you can’t have us there for these reasons, and I wish you the best. We would love to be there, of course, but I sincerely do understand if you decide to replace us with someone who supports the candidate you support.”
Kat Von D replied, “It’s not about inviting people based on their political stance." No, it's about rejecting people based on their political stance. "[I]t’s just extremely difficult (borderline impossible) for me to be friends with or associate with anyone who would support a man who goes against everything I stand for. I would feel the same way towards people who supported Hitler, or any other fascist.” Oh, well that's fair of her.
As The Wichita Eagle noted, all evidence of the contest’s existence has since been deleted from the Kat Von D Instagram account and website.
Freeman said it’s “really unfortunate” that politics was injected when “I never brought it into the art contest.”
“I didn’t erase [the Trump post] either,” she said. “Part of the great thing about this country is having freedom of speech. I said the same thing to Kat. I was like, ‘You can say whatever you want to say and you shouldn’t filter comments based on who I support. It doesn’t bother me.’”
Jenn Bischof, the photographer who took the photos for Freeman’s entry, was invited to – and attended – the launch party in her place, Freeman said. The Eagle attempted multiple times to reach Kat Von D Beauty for comment, unsuccessfully.
“It’s definitely bigotry," Freeman declared. "It’s everything that they’re calling us, they’re doing. It’s a huge case of hypocrisy.”