Skincare CEO Lisa Alexander has apologized for accusing a Filipino American man of committing a crime for chalking a Black Lives Matter outside his home in San Francisco.
A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP
— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
What happened: Alexander faced widespread backlash online after James “Jaime” Juanillo posted a video to Twitter on Friday showing her and another man questioning his sign of support for BLM.
- Alexander and the other man, identified as Robert Larkin, reportedly called the cops on Juanillo in front of his property on Gough Street in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, CBS reported.
- The pair asked Juanillo if the house was his, assuming he was defacing private property, on June 9.
- She suggested Juanillo did not live there, confident she knew the owner and ignored him when he asked her to call the owner. Juanillo declined to tell Alexander his name at her insistence.
- “A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall,” Juanillo said.
- “My first instinct is, ‘Again? This? Again?’” Juanillo told CBS’ Kenny Choi in an interview.
- The police reportedly didn’t step out of their vehicle when they responded to the call shortly after the video was cut off.
Here’s the story and interview… pic.twitter.com/DYQhUcqxK9
— Kenny Choi (@KennyKPIX) June 14, 2020
The aftermath: Social media users had identified the woman as Lisa Alexander, the CEO of LAFACE Skincare.
- Alexander’s social media accounts, including Instagram and Facebook for LAFACE Skincare, have been deactivated following the incident.
- In a statement on Sunday, Alexander apologized for being disrespectful to Jaunillo last week.
- “The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities. When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behave the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that. I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and have learned a painful lesson. I am taking a hard look at the meaning behind white privilege and am committed to growing from this experience,” she said, adding that she would “love to have coffee with Juanillo” to apologize in person.
What happens next: Birchbox, a New York-based subscription service cosmetic company that had distributed LAFACE Skincare products in the past, has officially cut ties with Alexander’s company, according to Newsweek.
- “There is absolutely no space at Birchbox for racism, and we condemn Lisa Alexander’s actions. We’ve removed their products from our website and will not be working with them again in the future,” the company said in a statement.
- Juanillo told CBS he is willing to talk with Alexander about the Black Lives Matter movement and that he can forgive her as well. Juanillo also added he doesn’t want what happened to end with “me destroying her life.”
- On Monday, Raymond James announced on Twitter that Larkin has been fired.
- “Raymond James has zero tolerance for racism and discrimination of any kind,” the company said. “An inclusive workplace is fundamental to our culture, one in which people are free to bring their whole selves to their careers, and we expect our associates to conduct themselves appropriately inside and outside the workplace.
- “After an investigation into the circumstances of a video alleging racism by one of our associates, we have concluded that the actions of he and his partner were inconsistent with our values, and the associate is no longer employed by Raymond James,” it added.
— Kenny Choi (@KennyKPIX) June 14, 2020
Feature Image Screenshot via @jaimetoons