A Christian pro-Trump influencer claims she has been ‘silenced’ by beauty retailer Sephora after the brand dropped her as a paid partner because of backlash over her political and religious views.
Amanda Ensing, 29, who boasts 1.4 million followers on Instagram, regularly posts beauty and lifestyle videos while sharing her conservative views, and recently shared a paid-for YouTube video in which she listed her favorite skincare products from Sephora.
However, the video was posted in the wake of furious backlash over comments Ensing made about pro-Trump supporters storming the Capitol on January 6, with many fellow influencers criticizing her views.
She wrote; ‘The left: I hate it here. America is embarrassing. Only we can riot & loot. Defund the police. Just do what the government tells you & don’t ask questions.
‘The right: Let’s fight for freedom. We love the USA. Defend the Constitution. We support our Military & Law enforcement.’
Others have also accused her of spreading so-called conspiracy theories to her large following.
Soon after Ensing shared her sponsored Sephora video, critics of her views began flooding the brand’s social media with outraged comments, questioning why they had partnered with the influencer.
#BoycottSephora even started trending online and the makeup brand claims to have then cut ties with Ensing.
Sephora responded to one user on Instagram, saying: ‘We were made aware that Amanda Ensing, an influencer contracted by one of our external vendors’ campaigns, recently shared content on social media that is not aligned with Sephora’s values around inclusivity.
‘As soon as we were informed, we made the decision to cease all programming with Amanda and will not be engaging her for future partnerships.’
Ensing and her followers have since fought back, claiming the company cannot claim to be inclusive while silencing conservative views and ‘smearing” her character.
She shared a video on Instagram on Sunday in which she called out the brand, saying she was ‘disgusted’ with her treatment.
Ensing said: ‘This is a video I never thought I would be having to make but the recent experience I’ve had with Sephora and what they did to me is not OK and I feel that I want to share my story and my truth and fill everyone in with what has happened.’
She said within hours of posting the video, she was asked to take it down by Sephora because of the online backlash.
She said: ‘Not only did they request I take it down they also are responding to comments about my political views smearing my character.’
Ensing then showed a clause in the contract she signed with the makeup brand in which they said her deal could be terminated for spreading hate speech or violence.
She had asked Sephora if her views would be protected, saying: ‘I have received hate from people due to my political ideologies for being conservative and also for being a Christian.
‘Political and religious beliefs are our American rights but it seems that they have not been treated this way lately. The brands that I have worked with do not care about my political or religious beliefs and I would need a guarantee that the advertiser in this case will uphold an influencer’s right to use their voice.’
Sephora replied: ‘Sephora and rewardStyle respect differing views and this would only ever be referenced in extreme situations such as violence or hate speech.’
The influencer now claims she is being silenced just because of her conservative views.
She said: ‘I have never done anything that is violent, I am not a violent person. I have never condoned violence and never will.
‘I am first and foremost a Christian, Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. I am secondly American and I am thirdly Latina. I am not racist, I am not homophobic, I am not a white supremacist, I am not part of some violent group.
‘It’s so weird. I only started being called these things by trolls on the internet after I came out as supporting our President, after I came out talking about my conservative views and my religious views. If you’re a conservative, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve been dealing with this for over a year now.’
She said she has hired a legal team to fight her case and is demanding Sephora pay her for the video she made for them.
But she claims the makeup brand will only pay her if she signs a contract agreeing to stay silent about the controversy.
Ensing added: ‘They want to pay me if I’ll be quiet, if I stay silent, which seems to be a common theme with every conservative. I want you guys to realize what we’re going through as a nation right now. So now I shouldn’t get paid because of my political views?
‘People have mocked my religion, my faith my political views, smeared me, called me terrible names and I am none of those things, all because I think differently than them.
‘Is Sephora going to fire all of their conservative workers in their retail stores and their warehouses or upper management? How do you think all of your conservative customers and employees are feeling right now after seeing everything that you’re doing to me and how you’re speaking to me and about me online.’
‘The moment you think differently you’re not worthy to work or be represented by them. When did makeup become political?’
The influencer claims in her 15-minute video seen by 900,000 people so far that other influencers have spread hate towards her but are not facing the same scrutiny and silencing.
She said: ‘What Sephora is doing is beyond disappointing and I don’t only speak for myself, I speak for conservatives as well. It’s beyond disappointing.
‘Do you think that conservatives don’t buy your makeup, don’t wear makeup, are we not worthy because you say we don’t align with your values of inclusivity.
To me, isolating millions of Americans because of their conservative political views from your store is the opposite of unity, the opposite of diversity.
‘I will not be silenced. I will always stand for truth and what’s right and stand firm in my faith and my beliefs.
‘If Sephora thinks that conservatives are part of a dangerous group, you don’t deserve a penny of our hard earned money. I will never support Sephora again.’
Ensing then promises to create her own conservative makeup brand where all values will be respected.
She said: ‘We will change the industry and we will create a space, at least on my platforms, that is inclusive and accepting of everyone despite your political, religious or personal beliefs.
‘No matter what side of the spectrum is on, to discriminate against someone because of their religious or political views is wrong. I am beyond disappointed, I am beyond disgusted in what Sephora has done and how they have acted and I will never support them again.’
Sephora said in a statement to MailOnline: ‘We were recently made aware of concerning behavior by Ms Ensing on her social platforms. Most recently, she made light of the violence and tragic loss of life at our nation’s Capitol last month.
‘For this reason, we made the decision to cease all programming with her indefinitely, including having the video she created through an external vendor, taken down .
‘Any claim that this decision was made on the basis of political or religious beliefs is inaccurate, we respect each individual’s right to have their own perspectives and freedom of expression. However, Sephora reserves the right to terminate any partnership we deem inappropriate for our brand.
‘Ms Ensing has also suggested that Sephora has attempted to silence her, which is not accurate. Sephora has not had any direct contact with Amanda or her legal team.
‘Her contract, including but not limited to terms of payment and disclosure protocols are all handled by RewardStyle, a partner of Sephora. We take this seriously and are working to ensure all future influencer outreach, content and partnerships are subjected to tighter controls.
‘At Sephora, we have made a commitment to build a beauty community that is welcoming, considerate, respectful and inclusive for all. These values will continue to guide every decision we make.’