House of Chanel has apologized to actress Gabourey Sidibe after the “Empire” actress publicly mulled over whether she should report that she was racially profiled in its Chicago store when she went in to buy sunglasses.
“I’d love to pretend she was being polite, and I’m sure she would love to pretend she was polite, but she was actually condescending,” Sidibe wrote on Lenny Letter of the employee who directed her to an inexpensive shop across the street. “Explaining to me how exactly I should get across the street and out of her sight line as if I were in kindergarten.
“I was trying to purchase glasses and she was trying to get the interaction with me over as soon as possible.”
Chanel issued the statement to the Lena Dunham-founded website Friday, May 12, expressing “our sincerest regret.”
“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,” the statement said.
Chanel added it hopes Sidibe comes back to the store to “experience the real Chanel customer experience.”
Sidibe wrote that she had no plans to abandon any stores that have discriminated against her, something the actress said she’s faced all her life.
“Honestly, if I walked out of every store where someone was rude to me, I’d never have anything nice,” she said. “So, yes. I spent my hard-earned money on the things I wanted from Chanel.”
Sidibe said the sales assistant seemingly decided to show her the sunglasses only after they walked past some nonwhite employees who recognized the actress.
“I know logically that I have every right to complain, especially since I spent so much money, but I’m struggling with the idea that I should be nice about it instead,” Sidibe wrote. “Should I worry about what a bad review would do to her career? No. But the fact is that I do. There is something in me, pushing me, forcing me to consider this woman’s feelings when she hadn’t considered mine at all.”