If you’re a social media manager for just about any popular restaurant or brand, you’re likely going to spend a fair amount of time troubleshooting some customer complaints. For example, when Kim Kardashian tweeted at Jack in the Box, with a “serious complaint” about a “concerning” situation she witnessed at one of the locations and a request for a response “Pronto!” many Twitter users knew that the California burger chain’s customer service and social media teams must have been on high alert. The nature of the complaint was never fully outlined, but Kardashian confirmed that the situation was handled quickly.
Lately, it would appear that chains in Southern California have a serious customer service problem. Just last month, SZA put a Sephora employee on blast when she was accused of stealing from the beauty supply store. She tweeted about the exchange with an employee working at one of the brand’s Calabasas locations, and added, “Can a bitch cop her fenty in peace.” Fans online concluded that the whole ordeal was likely a result of simply shopping while black, and being racially profiled in-store.
Well, it does appear that she can now go ahead and get some Fenty Beauty products without being accused of theft. Over the weekend, SZA revealed in an Instagram Story that Rihanna sent her fellow musician a Fenty Beauty gift card, along with a note that said, “Go buy yo Fenty Beauty in peace sis!”
Unfortunately, it’s not every day that black women who are racially profiled have someone like Rihanna to publicly look out for them and send a little gift to smooth things over. While many people cheer on (with tinges of irony, self-awareness, and probably a little bit of schadenfreude) popular grifters like Anna Delvey and Elizabeth Holmes for scamming the system and gaining popularity as a result of their high-profile schemes, it’s important to remember that people of color, especially a disproportionate number of black women, are not only frequently followed by store employees, but also have security or police called on them by bystanders during common, everyday actions that aren’t even illegal, like golfing “too slowly” or just taking a nap.
To add insult to injury in this particular incident of racial profiling, SZA actually used to work as a skin consultant at a Sephora in New Jersey before she was famous. The brand eventually replied on Twitter, telling the singer that she is “a part of the Sephora family,” but that response might be too little, too late: The gift card Rihanna sent was a Fenty gift card, not a Sephora gift card. Looks like rather than dealing with in-store shenanigans, SZA will probably put the gift to good use on the Fenty site, where she can remain unbothered.