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Sephora pulls controversial lipstick amid public backlash

A screengrab of 'Celebutard' lipstick

CTV Screengrab

Every so often, big business will bend to common sense and decency, and make a change to a product –especially when there's a public backlash.

As CTV News reports, the French cosmetics giant Sephora has apologized for the insensitively named lipstick called "Celebutard" and has pulled the product from its website and store shelves.

On the Urban Dictionary website, a celebutard is defined as a famous person short of intelligence. Think Paris Hilton.

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The offensive lipstick was part of a line of Kat Von D products being sold by Sephora. Kat Von D is Katherine von Drachenberg, a model and tattoo artist best known for starring in the TLC reality series L.A. Ink. The other offerings in her "painted love lipstick" link include Homegirl, Backstage Bambi, Lolita and Underage Red.

The decision to pull the Celebutard lipstick comes following negative Facebook feedback and several petitions on Change.org. In recent weeks, several advocacy groups for the disabled have lobbied against the name, including the Canadian group Inclusion B.C.

"It should never have been on the shelves to begin with," Inclusion BC's Faith Bodnar said. "It's degrading and there's no place for it."

Sephora also issued a statement to CTV News to confirm that the lipstick has been discontinued.

"It has come to our attention that the name of one shade of lipstick we carry has caused offence to some of our clients and others. We are deeply sorry for that," the statement said.

Serendipitously, the controversy over the Celebutard lipstick surfaced during the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, which was designed to heighten awareness regarding the offensive term "retard."

Earlier this year, the Spread the Word group released a public service announcement featuring Glee star Jane Lynch on YouTube that has collected more than 400,000 pledges to stop using the word.

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