Bethenny Frankel Comes Under Attack after She Told Black Female Entrepreneurs to ‘Find a White Guy’ to Rep Their Business

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Television personality Bethenny Frankel presents the outstanding culinary program award during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Television personality Bethenny Frankel presents the outstanding culinary program award during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

Skinny Girl Vodka founder Bethenny Frankel is under fire after she made controversial comments Saturday as the keynote speaker at a women’s entrepreneurial summit hosted by Rent The Runway’s and UBS’s Project Entrepreneur.

Frankel made comments referring to Black women as loud. She also advised women entrepreneurs of color to have a white man rep their company to make it successful and profitable. The event itself was not recorded, and Frankel’s direct quotations were not present for media.

However, Black entrepreneur Mary Pryor took to Twitter to respond. Pryor is a social strategist of audience engagement and technology advisor. The work she does at digitalundivided focuses on getting Black and Hispanic female entrepreneurs the resources needed to be successful. She unleashed a flurry of tweets Monday showing her disgust:

This Tuesday, the entrepreneur wrote about her experience at the event for All Digitocracy as well. Pryor starts with the awkward Q&A portion of the evening.

In the Q&A, Frankel was asked about the challenges Black women and other women of color face when it comes to fundraising. According to Pryor’s account of the event, Frankel was offensive in more ways than one:

“I was stunned when Frankel implied that women should have sex with men in exchange for capital. I was offended when she expressed some kind of kinship with Black women because she’s ‘loud.’ And I was taken aback when she advised those of us in the room to get business advice to hire a white man as the face of our companies.”

Frankel’s comments set off Twitter backlash from many who attended the event. This firestorm was met with a quick response by the host of the event, Project Entrepreneur. In a series of tweets of their own, the host apologized for Frankel’s comments. They also apologized for her inability to empower the many female entrepreneurs in the venue:

After the fallout, Frankel responded Wednesday:

 

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