Actor Tyrese Gibson has filed a $1 million lawsuit against The Home Depot, accusing the home-improvement retailer of racial and ethnic bias in an incident that happened in February, according to Insider.com. The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles on August 9. It accuses the store of practicing “outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.”
The alleged incident transpired at a Home Depot store in West Hills, California when two men employed by Gibson went to the outlet on February 11 to purchase materials for a construction project. The men, Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez, who were of Mexican origin, were unable to buy the items at the cashier station until Gibson intervened and provided identification.
According to the lawsuit, “The actions of the cashier and manager were discriminatory based on race and origin. There is no other plausible explanation for the mistreatment of Plaintiffs. The transaction was refused, despite Gibson’s repeated authorizations, because of Plaintiffs’ skin color and, in the case of Mora and Hernandez, also because of their national origin.”
The lawsuit termed the situation a “humiliating and demeaning” occurrence that was “a clear and deplorable instance of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.” It added that “This is the absolute height of hypocrisy for a company that disingenuously promotes itself to the world as ‘an environment of mutual respect that is free of harassment and discrimination.’”
Gibson’s lawsuit seeks damages stemming from Home Depot’s negligence in hiring, screening, and training the cashier and manager who were involved.
Responding to the lawsuit, Home Depot spokesperson Beth Marlowe was quoted as saying that “Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.” She added, “We value Mr. Gibson as a customer, and in the months since this happened, we’ve reached out to him and his attorneys several times to try to resolve his concerns. We will continue to do so.”
Gibson, who is acclaimed for his portrayal of Roman Pearce in the Fast & Furious franchise, declared in a statement: “Just as I have done for the past 20-plus years, I pledge to continue to utilize my platform to empower the voiceless, fostering a spirit of unity and hope, while illuminating our shared path forward.”
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