A make-up executive at Estée Lauder was let go on Monday, Feb. 28, after he posted a racist Instagram meme spoofing a Sesame Street book cover that uses a derogatory racial slur in its title.

John Demsey, a senior executive at Estée Lauder who heads and supervises the Clinique and MAC brands for the company, has been booted following a statement where he was told that he “must leave” the company while condemning the meme he posted, according to Complex.

“This decision is the result of his recent Instagram posts, which do not reflect the values of The Estée Lauder Companies, have caused widespread offense, are damaging to our efforts to drive inclusivity both inside and outside our walls, and do not reflect the judgment we expect of our leaders,” the statement read.

The meme that was posted was one that depicted a Sesame Street character with a caption that read “My n***a Snuffy done got the ’rona at a Chingy concert,” referring to the coronavirus. Demsey claims that he had not read the meme properly before posting it, the Daily Beast reported.

“I am terribly sorry and deeply ashamed that I hurt so many people when I made the horrible mistake of carelessly reposting a racist meme without reading it beforehand,” he posted on Instagram after he took down the photo he shared.

“The meme is the furthest thing from what I stand for and I should have never reposted it,” he said, elaborating. “I hope that in time people will judge me, not for this awful mistake, but for my lifetime of words and actions, which demonstrate my respect for all people.”

Despite the controversy, Demsey appears to not have been fired; instead, he has been allowed to retire from his position instead.

This is not the first racist meme posted by Demsey on his Instagram page. Another post that he took down depicted a Black model with the caption “bad guys in Scooby Doo when they get their mask yanked off,” Bloomberg reported.

“Our employees, and especially our senior leaders, are accountable to continue driving our progress and to respect the values of this company for the long term,” Estée Lauder said in a statement.

Estée Lauder senior executive John Demsey was let go from the make-up company and brand after posting a racist Instagram meme depicting a Sesame Street character getting COVID-19. This is a representational image. Raphael Lovaski/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.