Apple Inc. apologized to six black students after they were asked to leave one of their stores in Australia because staff were worried they “might steal something.” The incident, which was caught on camera, took place at Melbourne's Highpoint shopping center.
Footage of the incident, which has been described by students as racist, sparked social media outcry after it was posted online Tuesday night. The six boys from Maribyrnong College were denied entry to the store by a staff member and two security guards, the Guardian reported.
“These guys [security guards] are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just worried you might steal something,” the Apple staff member says in the video.
Ese, one of the students, told Mashable that he was shocked and offended by 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,” he reportedly said, demanding a public apology from Apple.
Apple said that the store manager apologized to the six boys and their school principal, according to the BBC. One of the student reportedly said that their school principle, Nick Scott, accompanied them back to the store Wednesday afternoon so they could request an apology from the Apple store manager.
Another boy involved in the incident said later said on Facebook that they were satisfied with the response from Apple, the BBC reported.
According to reports, an Apple spokeswoman said that the company was investigating the incident, adding that Apple was committed to cultural diversity and inclusion.
After the video was posted on social media, several users criticized Apple.
— The Two Chairs (@TheTwoChairs) November 11, 2015
— Meilin (@MeilinWS) November 11, 2015