Barking on the wrong tree can get people into a lot of trouble sometimes. This is what both Lisa Alexander, a skincare CEO, and her husband Robert, learned when they confronted James Juanillo, a Filipino man, for writing a slogan on his own property and calling the cops on him afterward. A video of the confrontation has since gone viral, causing Alexander’s company LAFACE to be dropped by makeup subscription service Birchbox and her husband losing his job recently with a wealth management firm, NYPost reports.
The skincare CEO, who became known in social media as ‘California Karen,’ has issued an apology Sunday to Juanillo for her “racist” actions. Karen is a slang term that refers to a person that is either entitled or demanding beyond what is regarded as appropriate. The apology, however, failed to prevent the fallout that included Robert getting fired from his job at Raymond James.
On Monday, the firm tweeted a statement saying Robert Larkin, the husband of Alexander, has been fired. The company emphasized that they have zero tolerance for racism and any form of discrimination. “An inclusive workplace is fundamental to our culture, one in which people are free to bring their whole selves to their careers, and we expect our associates to conduct themselves appropriately inside and outside the workplace,” the wealth management firm added.
The company ended its statement saying the actions of Robert were not consistent with their values, forcing them to terminate the employment of their associate. LaFace Skincare, the company of Alexander, has taken its website off the grid, according to a report by KPIX 5.
Ignorant And Naïve
In a lengthy apology she tweeted Sunday, Alexander said she wanted to apologize directly to the Filipino man and said there are not enough words to describe how truly sorry she was for being disrespectful to Juanillo when she decided to confront him about what he is doing in front of his property. “I should have minded my own business. The last 48 hours have taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities,” the LaFace skincare CEO wrote on Twitter.
She also admitted getting shocked and sad for behaving the way she did, adding that she did not realize her actions were racist at the time. Alexander promised to learn and grow from her experience and that she would be taking a hard look at what is meant by white privilege. She then invited Juanillo for a cup of coffee so she can apologize in person.