Another day, another lawsuit against a high end retailer. Louis Vuitton is being sued over racism claims after a boss at a flagship store allegedly told an African employee: “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor.”
Oliver Koffi, the former sales employee suing the company, said he was in a stock room packing a pair of shoes for a customer when his manager began the shocking race rant in front of stunned staff. Allegedly, the manager called Barack Obama a “muppet” and said America would be better off with “Miss Piggy” as its president because “Muslim people… don’t eat pork”.
The store in question is located in Central London. Koffi is suing for discrimination and harassment.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror, Koffi says more comments came from his during a conversation they had about the English language with three other staff members at the Louis Vuitton Townhouse at London’s Selfridges department store.
“During this discussion, my manager quite randomly stated that ‘Black people are slaves and eat dirt off the floor,’” Koffi told the site.
“This comment was grossly offensive and extremely humiliating. His reference to slavery in this day and age with regards to black people is quite frankly revolting.”
“He went on a rant about black people and other races and religions. He jumped from subject to subject, making comments about other races and religions. He made comments about Barack Obama,” he told Mirror.
“All of his comments were derogatory and a clear illustration of his prejudices towards other races and religions. His comments were offensive and degrading. I confronted him about his statement … I told him that I was offended by his comment. He did not deny making the comment. He apologized and claimed it was a ‘joke.’ It was not a joke at all.”
Louis Vuitton has responded to the lawsuit claiming they have zero tolerance when it comes to racism. “Louis Vuitton has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind,” a Louis Vuitton spokesperson told the Mirror. “This reported sentiment is in total violation of the Louis Vuitton ethical charter. This issue was investigated, and the manager in question no longer works within the company.”
The manager was allegedly fired after a disciplinary hearing.