Apple’s Tim Cook apologizes for an Apple Store racism scandal that recently caused outrage among fans and customers of the technology company. A video of a store employee kicking out six black students in Melbourne, Australia went viral after being posted on social medial by one of the teens involved in the incident. In light of the video’s wide distribution and the public outrage that followed, Apple is now responding to accusations of racism.
Francis Ose, one of the students that were asked to leave, posted the video on his Facebook page after the incident under the caption “Simply Racism”. The story started garnering attention both online and in the media following the video’s upload. In an interview for a news broadcast another one of the teenagers involved stated that the group was asked to leave because he and his friends were back teenagers and the store employee assumed they would cause trouble and steal something.
Since the story got picked up by the media Apple has made a statement apologizing for the incident and maintaining that inclusion and diversity were among the company’s core values, as was the belief that there should be equality for everyone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also commented on the issue and reached out to the company’s employees via an email that was later published by media outlets. The email asked that Apple employees would be retrained on customer engagement and inclusion practices and explained that the views expressed in the video did not represent the company’s beliefs or values.
Tim Cook also stated that the situation that happened in Australia was unacceptable and that the message transmitted in the video was not one representatives of the company would ever want to send to a customer or hear themselves.
The company was accused of racism after a group of black teenagers were subjected to a questionable and discriminating treatment by an Apple store employee. The six boys involved in the incident were all 10th grade students at Maribyrnong College and they were not allowed to enter the store by a staff member and two security guards. The reason given very bluntly by the employee for prohibiting them to enter the store was that he was concerned that the boys might steal something.
The video not only records the staff member making the statement but also shows one of the boys asking him what reason he thinks they would have for stealing something, question which remains unanswered on the video. Ironically, the student that recorded the video used his iPhone to capture the incident.
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