About a week ago a video went viral online showing a group of young black students who were subjected to racism by an Apple Store employee at Highpoint in Melbourne, Australia. The employee can be seen in the video telling the young men that security is “”just a bit worried you might steal something,” and upon their protest they’re sternly told by the employee to leave the premises. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that this racism incident is “unacceptable” and that none of them were happy with the way this was handled.
Cook’s response to this incident came in the form of a company-wide email which eventually went public, the Apple CEO writes that this is not a message they would ever want to deliver to a customer to hear it themselves. “What people have seen and heard from watching the video on the web does not represent our values.”
The students returned to the store with their school principal and they did receive a formal apology from the store manager, Cook praises the way that the manager ended this matter, and the students have said that they consider the matter resolved as a formal apology has been tendered.
Cook writes that while he firmly believes this was an isolated incident and not something that’s common in Apple Stores across the globe, the company will take this moment as an opportunity to learn and grown. Starting in Australia store leadership teams will refresh their training on inclusion and customer engagement with the same being exercised in all countries where Apple owns and operates its retail stores.