Skip to main content

Manager Fired For Calling Black Employee's Hair 'Urban' (Photos)

Manager Fired For Calling Black Employee's Hair 'Urban' (Photos) Promo Image

Banana Republic has fired a manager after he reportedly told an employee that her hair was too "urban" for the store.

Destiny Tompkins wrote about her experience on Facebook on Oct. 4, saying she came into work that day and was told to speak with her white manager, Mike, who reportedly complained about her box braid hairstyle, according to WPIX.

"I came in and he questioned me about the dress code and immediately, I thought there was something wrong with my outfit but he sat me down and questioned my hair instead," recalled Tompkins in her post. "He told me that my braids were not Banana Republic appropriate and that they were too 'urban' and 'unkempt' for their image. He said that if I didn’t take them out then he couldn’t schedule me for shifts until I did."

Tompkins said when she tried to explain to Mike that her braids protected her hair from becoming brittle in the cold weather, the manager suggested she use shea butter on it.

"I have never been so humiliated and degraded in my life by a white person," wrote Tompkins. "In that moment, I felt so uncomfortable and overwhelmed that I didn’t even finish my work shift and ended up leaving."

Image placeholder title

She also said when a family friend called the store to ask for the manager's last name, he would not give it to her.

Tompkins called the incident "blatant racism and discrimination."

"Box braids are not a matter of unprofessionalism, they are protective styles black women have used for their hair and to be discriminated against because of it is truly disgusting and unacceptable," posted Tompkins.

"There’s no reason why a white person should feel allowed to tell me that I can’t wear my hair the way that I want because it’s too black for their store image," she added.

Image placeholder title

Tompkins' Facebook post was shared over 55,000 times in six days.

A spokesperson for the store confirmed that the manager in question had been fired, according to The Root.

"This week, one of our store managers questioned an African-American employee's braided hair style," said Banana Republic. "Our team began an immediate investigation and the manager involved was promptly removed from the store."

The statement continued: "We concluded the investigation and can confirm that the manager has been terminated from the company. Banana Republic has zero tolerance for discrimination. This situation was completely unacceptable, counter to our policies, and in no way reflects our company’s beliefs and values."

Sources: WPIX, The Root, Destiny Tompkins/Facebook / Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr / Embedded Images: Destiny Tompkins/Facebook

Popular Video