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CosmoProf Responds to Viral Racist Incident With Apology

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CosmoProf has found itself at the center of a major controversy after a video of a white female employee at the retailer’s King of Prussia Mall location, going on a racist tirade at a Black female customer over a $20 return quickly went viral on TikTok — garnering almost 350,000 views on the social platform. The video depicting the incident was posted by creator @contrarybefore87 on June 30th.

@contrarybefore87

Part one in King of Prussia #Pa employee at Cosmo Prof Beauty. Employee refused to give customer money back #karen #fyp #viral

♬ original sound – Amina Renee

In the shocking three-part video, the CosmoProf employee, who the viewers have dubbed “Karen” — an insult usually reserved for white women when they antagonize BIPOC or police the behavior — refuses to make the return, instead accusing the customer of harassing her and that the customer “hates white people.” The angry employee continues on her rant, adding that the customer “watches too much CNN and that is why she doesn’t like white people.”

It should be noted that the customer, who remains calm throughout the employee’s meltdown, does not appear to make any mention of disliking a particular racial group.

The Backlash

As expected the incident drew swift and powerful backlash from viewers, with many people pledging not to shop at the retailer and some even going as far as to drop negative reviews online.

Their outrage soon bubbled over to Twitter where social media users accused the company of racism, calling for them to address the incident. One woman directly called for the retailer to take accountability for the incident and questioned the standard of customer service at their stores.

Another woman shared that she will no longer be shopping form the retailer and will instead take her salon’s business to SalonCentric.

CosmoProf’s Response

A week after receiving widespread criticism, CosmoProf wants their consumers to know they’re taking accountability. The beauty distributor issued a statement across its social media accounts on Wednesday, apologizing for the employee’s racist behavior and acknowledged their need to make changes to ensure “it doesn’t happen again.”

“We strive every day to meet the needs of a diverse customer base, and prove a shopping environment that is respectful, safe and enjoyable for all. We hold ourselves accountable to this ideal. When we fall short, we acknowledge it, apologize, and make the changes necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” CosmoProf said in a message posted to its social media accounts. “We had an incident in one of our stores last week that did not live up to our values and for that we are truly sorry.”

Along with the apology, the company also revealed, in the post’s caption, that not only has the store associate at the center of the incident been fired but all of their store employees will now be undergoing diversity training.

“In response to the incident, we will be conducting diversity, equity, and inclusion training for store employees to reinforce our no tolerance policy and our commitment to an inclusive and enjoyable shopping experience at all of our stores,” the company shared. “Further, the store associate who was on duty during the incident is no longer with CosmoProf.”

So far, no information has been released on the company’s diversity and inclusion training. The Tease reached out to CosmoProf for comment on the incident, but did not immediately receive a response.

Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor, based in Georgia, covering all things hair at The Tease. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.