On May 1, SZA, a well-known R&B artist, multiple-time Grammy nominee, and even a former worker at Sephora, posted on her Twitter account that she had been mistreated due to the color of her skin. It all occurred in one of the Sephora stores on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
A member of staff SZA pinpointed as Sandy called security to tag her and make sure she would not steal anything. After her own words, she had a long talk with them.
Sephora tweeted back saying that she should feel a part of the Sephora family and that they had been committed to ensuring that every member of the community felt welcome in their stores.
Later, Sephora announced on their Facebook page that they would arrange and hold “inclusion workshops” on Wednesday morning, June 5. During that time, all of their facilities will be closed for one hour.
BBC asked for a comment about the training, but there was no answer from Sephora.
PR for Sephora, Emily Shapiro, stated for Reuters that training was not in correlation with any incident. These inclusivity workshops, she said, had been meticulously planned years before; they had been ongoing for months now. In other words, they are held on a regular basis.
But Sephora Is Not an Exception
In 2013, the cooperation between the famous rapper Jay-Z and Barneys has been questioned because of the alleged store’s racial profiling. Over 57,000 people signed the petition for Jay-Z to break the partnership with Barneys. But Jay-Z decided against it. In order to tighten their partnership, he conditioned it with a leadership role in Barney’s council in debating store policies.
In 2018, Starbucks held racial tolerance training, subsequent to the incident in which two black men were wrongly arrested; they had only been waiting for someone. After a boycott of all their coffee shops, Starbucks apologized.
Sephora’s Step in the Right Direction
Undoubtedly, this move shows the effort of Sephora to change things and represents a step in the right direction.
But one can genuinely wonder how many more of these workshops will be needed to ensure racial tolerance in the U.S.