Sephora To Close More Than 400 Stores For Diversity Workshop After Singer SZA Accused Employee Of Racial Profiling
It’s the year 2019, and sadly it feels like we’re going backwards, doesn’t it? We’re not naive enough to believe racism was magically resolved until recently. But certain types of people have gotten much bolder and out in the open with their racist ways. Conversely, we have this little thing called the internet now. So we can call these people out when they flex their racism. As much as we hate to read about people of color being profiled, wrongfully detained, or harassed, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing they’re not going to get away with it. It’s even better when the companies that employ some of these people do the right thing. After being racially profiled in a Sephora store, singer SZA called the employee out on Twitter. Now, the company is closing 400+ stores to put their employees through a diversity workshop following the incident.
In April, SZA was shopping in a Sephora store in Calabasas when an employee went way over the line.
Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy
— SZA (@sza) May 1, 2019
First of all, let’s just reiterate for the people in the cheap seats: BLACK WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO SHOP IN STORES. Their mere presence is not cause for concern, FFS. This happens alllllllll the time, and it’s infuriating. But sometimes, it happens to someone with a pretty substantial reach. SZA says that the employee called security on her to make sure she wasn’t stealing. It’s so incredibly offensive and wrong. SZA was just trying to get some Fenty Beauty in peace!
Sephora responded to SZA soon after her tweet about “Sephora Sandy” (dead).
Hi, SZA. We’re sorry to hear about your experience at our Calabasas store and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We want to let you know we take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately.
— Sephora (@Sephora) May 1, 2019
The beauty and makeup company will be closing 400+ stores on June 5 in order to hold a series of diversity and inclusivity workshops. They told Buzzfeed, “This store closure is part of a long journey in our aspiration to create a more inclusive beauty community and workplace. This has included forming employee resource groups, building Social Impact and philanthropic programs, and hosting inclusive mindset training for all supervisors.” The initiatives were in place before the incident with SZA. But the company says that incident reinforces why it’s more important than ever to address these issues.
We imagine it was a stressful and disheartening experience for SZA. But at least she still got her Fenty.
Shortly after going public with her experience, SZA got a nice little surprise in the mail from her friend Rhianna. The creator of Fenty Beauty sent her a Fenty Beauty gift card so she could “buy Fenty Beauty in peace”. Now that’s what we call a good friend! We hope Sephora comes through on their pledge to make their stores more welcoming and inclusive. If we were them, we’d be afraid Ms. Fenty would take her incredibly successful line elsewhere.