Gabourey Sidibe receives apology from Chanel after racial profiling incident

After writing about being racially profiled at a Chanel shop, Gabourey Sidibe has now received an apology from the brand.

Gabourey Sidibe

The star of Precious wrote about her experience for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, after going into the shop to purchase eyeglasses and sandals. Sidibe describes how she was directed to a discount shop across the street within a minute by the assistant.

“I had been at her display for less than a minute, and she was literally directing me to another store,” Sidibe wrote.

“She knew what she was doing. She had decided after a single look at me that I wasn’t there to spend any money.”

“Even though I was carrying a Chanel bag, she decided I wasn’t a Chanel customer and so, not worth her time and energy.”

Sidibe then describes other members of staff recognising her, prompting the assistant to help her.

“Just like that, I went from being an inconvenience to a customer.”

The actress reflected on similar experiences in the past, explaining that she has been racially profiled as both a celebrity and a civilian.

“No matter how dressed up I get, I’m never going to be able to dress up my skin color to look like what certain people perceive to be an actual customer.”

“Depending on the store, I either look like a thief or a waste of time.”

Shortly after the post went live, Chanel made an apologetic statement on behalf of the shop:

“Chanel expresses our sincerest regret for the boutique customer service experience that Ms. Sidibe mentioned in this essay.

We are sorry that she felt unwelcome and offended.

We took her words very seriously and immediately investigated to understand what happened, knowing that this is absolutely not in line with the high standards that Chanel wishes to provide to our customers.

We are strongly committed to provide anyone who comes in our boutiques with the best customer service, and we do hope that in the future Ms. Sidibe will choose to come back to a Chanel boutique and experience the real Chanel customer experience.”

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