Controversy bloomed when a Staples contractor thought it’d be OK to work at a California store with blackface on.
After all these years of being taught on social media you’d think everyone would get the memo: Blackface is NOT OK, in any circumstances. Apparently, this woman, who was a Marketsource worker there to promote Hewlett-Packard items, was either oblivious or coy about it.
Caught on video, customer Geneen Bland, who is Black, had questions for the woman, like, “What is your costume supposed to be?”
The contractor, whose name hasn’t been released, then replied that she was a “beauty shop customer” and pointed to the curlers in her shower cap.
She then said it was a charcoal face mask after being pressed on why the mask was black. Also if you’re working at Staples as a contractor, why are you even wearing this at all?
“It looks like blackface to me,” Bland replied to the questionable explanation.
The woman said her black mask “sits better” than her green one, then apologized if Bland felt “that way.” Store managers later gave another outfit explanation and said she was a “Sharpie costume.”
Staples and Hewlett-Packard later apologized for the contractor’s costume.
"A representative from HP who was in one of our stores wore a costume for Halloween that they intended to have represent an office product, but didn't realize it could be considered offensive to some of our customers. While it was unintentional, it was still inappropriate and once this was raised to the representative, they immediately removed the costume."
"Staples apologizes to any customers that may have viewed a photo of the associate on social media. We respect diversity and try to foster a sense of diversity and inclusion in our stores, as well as provide an atmosphere in which all customers feel comfortable."
It’s interesting that no one was aware of how something really obvious could tick off one of the first customers who saw it.
See video of the confrontation and reaction to the situation below.
So is this lady wearing blackface or is she just not right in the head?— Dr. P (@hitides0321) October 30, 2017
poor leadership there for letting her step on the floor looking like hot mess express. She played y'all— saucybae (@Queen94183456) October 30, 2017
Woooow😳. Staples in Pleasant Hill who is running that place?— saucybae (@Queen94183456) October 30, 2017
Either she is developmentally disabled or that's quite a stretch for a costume: "Beauty shop customer." i guess she does her own hair though— The Young Skunks (@DZerach) October 31, 2017
You have got to be kidding me? Who let her on the floor like that? The manager needs to be fired stat.— Jeanne Azarovitz (@Northquahog48) October 30, 2017
Not funny. #wentwaytoofarleft— Mack Williams (@mackthesteeler) October 30, 2017
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)