A number of Australian high school students have accused an Apple employee of racism following their ejection from a company store in Melbourne.
The group of six teenage boys were born in various African countries before moving to Australia as children. They filmed the incident at the Apple Store in Highpoint Shopping Center on Tuesday.
Teenagers accuse Apple employee of racist behavior
One member of the group, Ese, told the press that the teens were asked not to lean on an iPhone display table. The boys claim that they were treated badly due to the color of their skin, while an Apple spokesperson said that the company is investigating.
The final part of the incident was recorded on video and later posted to Facebook. An Apple Store employee and a security guard can be seen explaining the fact that they are making people uncomfortable.
“These guys are just a bit worried about the presence in the store; they are just worried you might steal something,” the Apple employee says. “Why would we steal something?” responds one boy.
So these men who work @ the Apple Store, refused to let in Somali/Sudanese students in. Racially discriminating them pic.twitter.com/yomYNpSpCg
— FD (@Crypticgirl_) November 10, 2015
Apple employee later apologizes to group
Ese later told Mashable that he thought there was a racist element to the incident. “It was just really offensive when he said ‘we are afraid you are going to steal something.’ It was shocking; it was racism,” Ese said. “He didn’t even give us a chance.”
Another of the group, Mohamed, said that school principal Nick Scott went with the boys to the store on Wednesday afternoon in order to request an apology from the manager. The Apple store employee said that he did not mean for his words to be taken out of context, and said that the boys were welcome at the store whenever they wanted.
However Mohamed is holding out for more. “I want a public apology,” he said. “It was the only time in my life I have felt this way, and I’m shocked.” Ese also said that this was the first time he had experienced such treatment in an Apple Store.
According to a spokesperson store staff have looked over footage from security cameras and discussed the incident. There has been no confirmation whether or not the staff member will be disciplined for his actions.