Tim Cook responds to 'unacceptable' Apple Store racism incident, says it 'does not represent our val

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Friday told employees that the incident at an Australian Apple Store earlier this week -- in which a group of black students was asked to leave for fear that they might be thieves -- calling the situation "unacceptable."




"What people have seen and heard from watching the video on the web does not represent our values," Cook wrote, according to BuzzFeed News. "It is not a message we would ever want to deliver to a customer or hear ourselves."

"None of us are happy with the way this was handled," he added.

The missive comes three days after an employee at the Highpoint store in Melbourne, Australia told a group of black students that security guards were "just a bit worried you might steal something." A video of the incident went viral, prompting a wave of outrage.

The students involved have said that they bear no ill will toward Apple after receiving a formal apology from the store's manager. Cook praised the manager's handling of the incident, and wrote that it reflects the company's policy of being open to everyone.

"Our stores and our hearts are open to people from all walks of life, regardless of race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, income, language or point of view," Cook wrote. "All across our company, being inclusive and embracing our differences makes our products better and our stores stronger."

Apple retail staff will receive additional training to help prevent the same kind of problem from recurring, he added:

"While I firmly believe that this was an isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in our stores, we will use this moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. Our store leadership teams around the world, starting in Australia, will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement. These are concepts and practices they know well, but can always stand to reinforce."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 107
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    If it was profiling, was the guy fired?
  • Reply 2 of 107
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    ""While I firmly believe that this was an isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in our stores, we will use this moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. Our store leadership teams around the world, starting in Australia, will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement. These are concepts and practices they know well, but can always stand to reinforce.""

    Refresher training is their obligation under these circumstances, get everyone on the same page and on notice to prevent repeats.
  • Reply 3 of 107

    It's one rogue employee. Let's move on. 

  • Reply 4 of 107
    Great. Now the black community is going to insist that Tim Cook step down...
  • Reply 5 of 107
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Check it out. No white friends.

    [IMG]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/65335/width/400/height/800[/IMG]

    That must be racism, right?
  • Reply 6 of 107
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Many electronics stores have security at the exit door checking everyone's receipt and shopping bag. If Apple wants to have a free and open door policy as well as an app that even lets you pay on your phone and walk out the door with your item without interacting with a sales person or cashier, then they should expect to absorb any losses due to theft.

  • Reply 7 of 107
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    It's one rogue employee. Let's move on. 

    Hard to do that now with Apple PR sending Tim Cook's memo to the press.
  • Reply 8 of 107
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member

    Link to original video?

  • Reply 9 of 107
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

    Link to original video?


  • Reply 10 of 107
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,381member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Hard to do that now with Apple PR sending Tim Cook's memo to the press.

     

    You're pretty clueless if you think it would have been better PR for Apple to stay completely silent about this viral video and would only keep growing without an official statement. I mean, really clueless. Whether or not there was racism involved, Tim Cook responded in absolutely the right way, from a PR perspective. 

  • Reply 11 of 107
    chiachia Posts: 713member
    mstone wrote: »
    Many electronics stores have security at the exit door checking everyone's receipt and shopping bag. If Apple wants to have a free and open door policy as well as an app that even lets you pay on your phone and walk out the door with your item without interacting with a sales person or cashier, then they should expect to absorb any losses due to theft.

    I thought you were from the United States, land of the free? Yet you're content with someone who isn't in law enforcement carrying out an unconstitutional search of your property and detention of yourself on the suspicion you may have stolen something?

    I thought the USA still held onto the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    Besides, what can someone actually pocket and run off with from an Apple Store? An iPhone or two, or an iPad at best. Well, there's the Apple Edition watches but they're locked away, otherwise relatively low value items compared to an iMac, MacBook or Mac Pro.

    It may well be better to suffer the occasional loss of demo equipment and accessories than to depress your sales with an oppressive shopping environment.

    Ask yourself this question, would you feel comfortable shopping in a place where security followed you from shelf to shelf on the chance that you may be a thief?
  • Reply 12 of 107
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,402member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lawrance View Post



    Great. Now the black community is going to insist that Tim Cook step down...



    I realize this could be tongue in cheek but let's keep this conversation a bit less incendiary. 

  • Reply 13 of 107
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Hard to do that now with Apple PR sending Tim Cook's memo to the press.

    Exactly. This was a non-issue, which has now been given even more press, all so someone could soapbox about how inclusive they are.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChiA View Post





    I thought you were from the United States, land of the free? Yet you're content with someone who isn't in law enforcement carrying out an unconstitutional search of your property and detention of yourself on the suspicion you may have stolen something?



    I thought the USA still held onto the concept of innocent until proven guilty.



    Besides, what can someone actually pocket and run off with from an Apple Store? An iPhone or two, or an iPad at best. Well, there's the Apple Edition watches but they're locked away, otherwise relatively low value items compared to an iMac, MacBook or Mac Pro.

    Innocent until proven guilty, good one, not in Modern America, land of the Facebook courts and 'feeling' people.

     

    People steal a can of soda from a grocery store. The fact that they can "only steal an iPhone or two" is irrelevant.

  • Reply 14 of 107
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    While I fully agree with what Cook is saying, and believe he is serious about it,.. This corporate political correct buzzword sermon is painful. Some clear words would be better.
  • Reply 15 of 107
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post



    While I fully agree with what Cook is saying, and believe he is serious about it,.. This corporate political correct buzzword sermon is painful. Some clear words would be better.



    Oh, you'd still find something to complain about.

  • Reply 16 of 107

    This is PC stupidity, as usual.  We see 18 seconds of video, the only part of which is the Apple employee asking these guys to leave because the security dudes are afraid they might steal something.  We have zero context as to what caused the confrontation, but something led to this.  I'm not saying the Apple employee is or isn't racist, or that his handling of the situation was good or bad.  I am saying that, as usual, the PC crowd sees varying skin color and rushes to judgement.  What if the black individuals in this video had been white?

  • Reply 17 of 107

    This is stupid and the one of the crazy problems with the world right now. There is not hint of racism in the video. Complete and utter nonsense Political correctness which actually breeds and creates the problem people are apparently so outraged about.

     

    I find it actually racist to call this racism. Your only calling it racism because the guys are black. Racism to me, is defining someone as different based on there race, which I find absolutely absurd, but half the people that shout racism are doing the exact same thing, they are defining the person as different in the first place. Even people that are "victims" of this do this, which is crazy, they put themselves into that hole then get mad at others for doing so. Crazy. This is exactly americas racism problem.



    A bunch of kids, all wearing back packs, possibly causing trouble (why are they filming this at this point? What happened before for them to start?) , extremely unlikely they were there to purchase something, every right to ask them to leave. It's not racism just because they are black at no point is race mentioned.

  • Reply 18 of 107
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,901member
    United States businesses are very forgiving to shop-lifting and has become tolerant at handling racism though knowing certain people(irrespective of color) will steal. If you go to middle east, China, India,etc and if seller feels you may steal than they will make you uncomfortable having one person stay close to you all the time you in shop so you don't even get opportunity to steal. If they catch you stealing than God have a mercy on you as you will be beaten so well that you will never steal in your life.

    This is no big deal telling someone to leave store even if not stealing but mishandling gadgets on display. Even in this country, they have caught people try to bend, damage iPhone in store.
  • Reply 19 of 107
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,053member
    jungmark wrote: »
    If it was profiling, was the guy fired?
    the guy must be fired for his stupidity. What's he fucking thinking, judging people's le based on skin color? Black people don't have money? Totally bs! This employee needs to get fired and never should get a retail job again...maybe warehouse stocking should be his job so he doesn't have to deal with people. Fucking disgrace!
  • Reply 20 of 107
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    You're pretty clueless if you think it would have been better PR for Apple to stay completely silent about this viral video and would only keep growing without an official statement. I mean, really clueless. Whether or not there was racism involved, Tim Cook responded in absolutely the right way, from a PR perspective. 




    Why do you need to denigrate Apple's and Tim Cook's statements by sullying it as PR, though I acknowledge you are responding to another by reference. Tim Cook responded correctly, period, though being politic when doing so -- unlikely is the incident isolated.

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