Tyrese Gibson accuses The Home Depot of racial discrimination in lawsuit
Tyrese Gibson accused The Home Depot of discriminatory mistreatment in a lawsuit filed this week.
On Aug. 9, the singer and “Fast & Furious” actor filed a lawsuit alongside two other plaintiffs against the home improvement store over an incident they say occurred in February. NBC News obtained the complaint filed to the Superior Court of the States of California County of Los Angeles — Central District, which states the actor experienced “outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” at a Home Depot retail location in West Hills, California, on Feb. 11.
Here’s everything known about the lawsuit so far.
What caused Tyrese Gibson to sue The Home Depot?
Gibson’s lawsuit claims that he and the two other plaintiffs — Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez, who regularly provide construction services for the actor — went to The Home Depot to purchase items for an ongoing project at the actor’s home.
After a cashier allegedly took 20 minutes to scan the items, Gibson said he was recognized and approached by shoppers. The actor decided to wait in his car to prevent a disturbance. Before leaving the store, Gibson said he told the cashier that Mora and Hernandez would complete the transaction. However, the two men were allegedly denied their items, prompting Gibson to return to the store and provide identification to complete the purchase. The lawsuit also claims that the manager refused to speak to him despite Gibson’s request to speak to them.
“The actions of the cashier and manager were discriminatory based on race and origin,” the lawsuit says. “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 goes on to claim that the “humiliating and demeaning” interaction is “a clear and deplorable instance of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.”
The lawsuit also states that The Home Depot has refused to hold itself accountable for the experience and instead “doubled down, lawyered-up.”
“In short, The Home Depot invited this civil rights lawsuit,” the lawsuit adds. “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.’”
For how much is Tyrese Gibson suing The Home Depot?
According to the documents, Gibson, Mora and Hernandez are seeking over $1 million in damages due to the company’s negligence in “hiring, screening, training, supervising,” and retaining the manager and cashier involved in the incident.
What The Home Depot said about the incident
On Aug. 11, Beth Marlowe, a spokesperson for The Home Depot, provided a statement to TODAY.com about not tolerating discrimination “in any form.”
“Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form,” Marlowe stated. “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.”
What else Tyrese said about suing The Home Depot?
In the post on his Instagram, Gibson shared a video from the incident where he addresses the store employees following the incident.
Additionally, in a statement given to NBC News, Gibson says: “Craftsmen Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez are an integral part of my team and have made significant contributions to my visions for over a decade. Together, we ardently uphold our commitments to civil rights, promoting empathy, and understanding.”
“Standing united against organizations like The Home Depot, we envision a world free from discriminatory practices and consumer racial profiling,” he continued. “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.”