Victoria’s Secret has apologized to a customer who says she was kicked out of an Alabama store by an employee who racially profiled her and another black woman.
Kimberly Houzah was shopping at a lingerie store in Oxford, Alabama, on Wednesday when she and another African American woman were reportedly asked to leave by someone she thought to be the manager, according to a video she posted on Facebook Live.
In it, Houzah explains that the incident started because another black woman — who she does not know — was caught shoplifting in the same store. The supposed manager than turned her attention onto Houzah and another African American woman, and proceeded to kick them out.
The 11-min long video begins right after Houzah is asked to leave. Someone can be heard in the background saying, “I just need y’all to go.”
The rest of the video shows a visibly shaken Houzah recording her reaction to the incident.
“[The employee] didn’t check my bag, she didn’t accuse me of of stealing, but because another black person happened to get caught stealing, we gotta be affiliated,”
“I don’t feel like everybody racist,” Houzah said “But I’m just trying to understand why, ’cause we just happened to be three black women in Victoria’s Secret … that we gotta be together.”
The video , which has been viewed over 1 million times on Facebook, prompted a swift response from the lingerie giant saying the employee in question was no longer with the company. They did not specify whether she quit or was fired.
In a since-deleted Facebook post, Victoria’s Secret said: “We take the experience of our customer at the Quintard Mall very seriously and have reached out to her directly to express our sincere apology.”
“What happened at our store should not have happened and does not represent who we are or what we stand for. The store associate involved in this matter is no longer employed with the company. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times.”
Victoria Secret was recently accused of “racism” and cultural insensitivity for featuring multicultural lingerie during its Paris Fashion Show.