A California Staples employee decided for some reason that the best Halloween costume this year was blackface.
On Friday, Harrold Leffall arrived at the Pleasant Hill Staples looking to buy a cash register and was shocked the white woman employee he asked for help turned around to reveal that her face was covered in black paint.
An outraged Leffall spoke to another employee about the costume fail. “I said the lady over there is in black face, and as a Black man I am very offended and I think that’s very inappropriate,” he told ABC-7.
He added, “she said it was a sharpie costume, and I said sharpie or no sharpie as a Black man to see a white person in black face is very offensive.”
Leffall said that he left the store upset and sat outside in his car for a while before he went back in to speak to a manager.
Staff for Staples and HP have since said that the employee was working for a third party company, Marketsource, which sometimes contracts for HP in retail stores.
Staples also issued an apology:
A representative from HP who was in one of our stores wore a costume for Halloween that they intended to have represent an office product, but didn’t realize it could be considered offensive to some of our customers. While it was unintentional, it was still inappropriate and once this was raised to the representative, they immediately removed the costume. Staples apologizes to any customers that may have viewed a photo of the associate on social media. We respect diversity and try to foster a sense of diversity and inclusion in our stores, as well as provide an atmosphere in which all customers feel comfortable.
But Leffall isn’t buying it.
“A company that doesn’t have a level of sensitivity to a struggle of a people that is a large part of their customer base is not a company that I am going to support,” he said.