Bethenny Frankel was either drunk or totally unguarded at a women’s conference in New York City over the weekend. She shocked the audience by offering racist and sexist advice to female entrepreneurs that you’ll never find in the Harvard Business Review.
Frankel gained fame as on the Bravo show “Real Housewives of New York.” She’s parlayed her notoriety into several business ventures.
But her advice to women business owners is causing a social media storm. She advised women to use sex to secure capital for their companies and urged them to use a “white man” as the “face of their companies.”
She made the remarks at a conference titled “Project Entrepreneur.” It was sponsored by Rent The Runway and Swiss bank UBS.
— Mary Pryor (@msmarypryor) April 11, 2016
To the brave black woman who asked what to do when ppl tell her to get a white man as the face of her org,Im so sorry for @Bethenny's answer
— Marah Lidey (@marahml) April 9, 2016
The event was created by Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman, who co-founded Rent The Runway, a clothing rental company, in 2008. It’s focused on helping women “build high-growth, high-impact businesses.”
According to Frankel, however, the best way for a woman to start a business is on her back.
“Frankel implied that women should have sex with men in exchange for capital,” wrote Mary Pryor, who attended the event, in The Huffington Post.
Pryor, who bills herself as a social strategist, audience engagement and tech advisor, added that she was “stunned” and “offended” by Frankel’s advice.
“I was offended when she expressed some kind of kinship with black women because she’s ‘loud,'” Pryor wrote.
But it didn’t end there. Frankel also advised “to hire a white man as the face of our companies,” added Pryor who is African-American.
Frankel, who founded Skinny Girl Vodka, a drink mix company, was the keynote speaker at the conference. She made the remarks during a Q&A session when she was asked about problems minority women faced trying to raise money for their businesses.
Pryor also carried her campaign onto Twitter.
“I applaud the diverse room of women thanks to @UBS… However @Bethenny was offensive and wrong NOT proper for a room full of female founders…,” she wrote.
“I along with another ally of color stood up to address how offensive @Bethenny was to not just us but the entire room. For @Bethenny to insist that a young, Black female founder ‘Find a white guy’ to rep her biz is a racial microaggression.”
Pryor said the remarks were especially damaging because of the audience, mostly white and some minority women business owners.
Frankel has also written six lifestyle books, a racy novel and a children’s book. She’s been criticized in the past for her wild weight fluctuations an her extreme dieting during her pregnancy.
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