Gabourey Sidibe Describes Racial Profiling Incident At Chanel
Gabourey Sidibe penned an article for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter site detailing the time a Chicago Chanel sales lady treated her like a second class citizen because she assumed a girl who looked like her couldn’t possibly have a dime in her pocket.
Gabby says she went in looking for a specific pair of eyeglass frames she had had her eye on for a while…but instead of being helpful, the saleswoman said she should probably hit up a store across the street for her frames:
” I was trying to purchase glasses, and she was trying to get the interaction with me over as soon as possible. Just to be sure of what was happening, I made her tell me to leave, in her pretend-polite way, three times.
I 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.”
Gabby says that as soon as some of the African American workers at the store recognized her as a famous person, the sales lady straightened her act up and changed her tune.
Gabby went ahead and purchased two eyeglass frames and some sandals for Taraji P. Henson, who was stuck on set filming and wasn’t able to come shopping with her that day. She says she took the incident in stride because frankly, none of it came as a big shock.
“Unfortunately, I’m used to people giving me bad service. Honestly, if I walked out of every store where someone was rude to me, I’d never have anything nice…
I’ve felt unwelcome in many stores throughout my life, but I just kind of deal with it. As a successful adult, sometimes I walk out of the store in a huff, without getting what I want, denying them my hard-earned money. Other times I spend my money in an unfriendly store as if to say ‘F*ck you! I’ll buy this whole damn store!'”
Either way, they win and I lose.
SMH! The fact that the disrespect is so common that she feels inclined to simply accept it is heartbreaking. Of course, Chanel can’t have that bad press hanging over their heads, so they made SURE to issue a public apology to Gabby:
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.
Sounds like too little too late to us…