Mirta Miler Says She’s “Absolutely Embarrassed” by Her ‘The Color Purple’ TikTok Debacle

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Dec. 19 2023, Published 6:00 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Mirta Miler is a beauty influencer and MUA with 18 million TikTok followers.
  • In December 2023, Mirta posted a TikTok video of herself dyeing a wig purple for a campaign for the movie/musical adaptation of The Color Purple.
  • Mirta received backlash for her campaign and the studio she partnered with, Warner Bros.
  • Mirta apologized to the Black community and her fans for the campaign, stating she was “absolutely embarrassed” by the video.
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With 18 million followers and counting on TikTok, influencer Mirta Miller has gained the attention and influence of many makeup and beauty supporters. The 20-something content creator has made a name for herself by sharing her take on the latest beauty trends and other viral voiceovers on the video-sharing app. Mirta's TikTok fame has led the Croatian native to several brand campaigns while continuing to build her following.

In the influencer game, most successful brand partnerships aim to have one that aligns with the brand and the influencer's target audience. So, in December 2023, Mirta's campaign on behalf of the Christmas release of The Color Purple appalled those who felt Mirta wasn't the best fit for the deal due to her apparent lack of knowledge about the musical film.

Here's what to know about Mirta Miller's TikTok controversy.

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(l-r): Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino, Oprah Winfrey, and Blitz Bazawule holding trophies
Source: Getty Images

Influencer Mirta Miller's 'The Color Purple' controversy explained

Since the film version of The Color Purple debuted in 1985, it has long been a part of cinematic history.

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In the Black community, it is revered as one of the most iconic, quotable films ever. And, of course, I have to remind everyone that The Color Purple was THE Oprah Winfrey’s acting debut as Sofia, and Whoopi Goldberg should’ve won an Oscar for her heartbreaking role as Celie.

A scene from 'The Color Purple'
Source: Getty Images
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Suffice it to say, people who appreciate great films don’t play about The Color Purple. So, when Mirta shared on TikTok she had been selected to be a part of a campaign with Warner Bros in anticipation of The Color Purple releasing in theaters.

In honor of the movie’s release, Mirta dyed a disheveled wig and decided to revamp it by adding purple highlights to the front of the wig. During the video, she records herself dyeing her hair purple, putting the wig on, and using a flat iron to straighten it. Mirta then adds a purple sweater and dances in the video while eating a purple macaron cookie.

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Mirta tells her audience The Color Purple is a “heartwarming” film and shares that the actual color purple symbolizes “royalty.” She then encourages the audience to embrace purple during the holiday season in honor of the movie.

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Mirta Miler was dragged on TikTok for her ‘The Color Purple ’-inspired post.

Mirta’s post quickly garnered attention. Several days after her post, TikTok gossip site Nosy Bystanders addressed the controversy behind her creative expression. The outlet shared that, after some digging, they discovered Warner Bros greenlit a $40,000 campaign and gave Mirta some — if not all — the money for the campaign.

In its campaign description, Warner Bros asked Mirta and, possibly, other influencers to create 30-second videos to “turn December Purple,” with the deadline being Dec. 14, 2023. Mirta posted her video on Dec. 10.

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The objectives also had some requirements that didn’t feel true to Mirta’s audience. The target audience, for instance, was “Females, 35+, African-Americans, Millenials, Fans of Oprah, Fans of Steven Spielberg, fans of The Color Purple’s cast (i.e., Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, and Taraji P. Henson), and fans of musical/dramas and movies.”

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Mirta, 26 at the time of publication, was likely paid for her influence in the beauty world. Warner Bros reportedly asked those participating in the campaign to create “Get Ready with Me” videos, makeup tutorials, hair dye posts, etc., to celebrate The Color Purple film.

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Mirta Miller called her ‘The Color Purple’ campaign video “tone deaf.”

It’s important to note that while the people behind the film, most noticeably Oprah, have been committed to wearing purple to promote The Color Purple, the movie or novel itself isn’t about the color, and it isn’t mentioned much of a main character as portrayed in campaigns.

The color represents the main character, Celie’s path to navigating years of abuse and neglect and becoming her person.

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Mirta failed to mention the dark moments of The Color Purple’s fictional history, calling the film a “heartwarming” way to celebrate the holidays. While the movie promises superb singing and award-nominated acting, those familiar with The Color Purple’s story know it’s more heartbreaking than heartwarming.

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Most critics of Mitra’s video noted her misuse of an adjective for The Color Purple, which showed her lack of knowledge of the film she was promoting. On Dec. 17, 2023, Mitra addressed the backlash on TikTok.

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In her 1:08 TikTok, Mirta apologized to her fans and the Black community and took “full accountability and responsibility” for her posted content. She also admitted she didn’t research the film beforehand and said she was “absolutely embarrassed” by her “ignorance” and told the Black community she was “tone deaf and insensitive.”

Despite her initial backlash, Mirta received many comments stating they appreciated her “genuine apology.”

Warner Bros has yet to release a statement regarding Mirta’s TikTok.

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