Update: Apple has issued a statement to BuzzFeed News regarding this incident:
“Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions. We’ve looked into the details of the situation and we apologise to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be.”
The manager of an Apple Store in Australia has apologised after six teenagers aged 15 and 16 were asked to leave the store when a member of staff expressed concerns than they might steal something. The youths allege that their ejection from the store in Melbourne’s Highpoint Shopping Centre (pictured above at its grand opening) was due to the color of their skin. The teens were born in Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea and Egypt before emigrating to Australia as children.
A video shows a member of the store staff stating that security staff were “concerned about your presence in our store, worried that you might steal something.”
Apple told Mashable that it was investigating the incident, and the BBC later reported that the store manager had apologized to the teens, and that this apology had been accepted.
CEO Tim Cook has said that diversity is crucial to Apple’s future, the company issuing an annual report on gender and ethnicity in its workforce. The latest data, published back in August, showed small increases in minority hiring, with black employees increasing from 7% to 8% and Asian staff up from 15% to 18%. Cook said he is proud of the progress the company has made but “we know there is a lot more work to be done.”
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