Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone thought it was appropriate to show up to their place of work on Halloween while ‘blacked up’. In 2015.
White Tesco worker Mary Hotlz arrived for work at the supermarket store in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire dressed as the main character from Big Momma’s House but, it’s safe to say, she took things a bit too far.
She was snapped in the extremely controversial black face costume while actually working on the shop floor and, unsurprisingly, a number of customers complained and she was sent home to change.
Shopper Natalie Fitzpatrick took a photo of the woman and uploaded it to Tesco’s Facebook page, writing:
Whilst I embrace the spirit of Halloween, can you please explain to me what this staff member has come dressed as in the Airdrie superstore? I started out shocked, then a tad uncomfortable before feeling over sensitive. Now I’m bloody furious and even more so because I questioned myself over the poor choices of YOUR staff. Really keen to understand the thought process behind this outfit and what consideration went into it before management decided it was okay.
Ms Fitzpatrick is of Afro-Caribbean descent and had her six and eight-year old grandchildren with her at the time and added to the Daily Record: “I never once suggested the staff member involved was racist but I felt the outfit was provocative and inflammatory”.
A Tesco customer care spokesperson eventually responded to her Facebook post and apologised, before promising to get in touch with Ms Fitzpatrick as soon as possible.
In an official statement, Tesco added:
As soon as our store manager was made aware, the colleague was asked to go home and change. We would like to apologise for any distress the outfit caused.
Although the store made the right call in the end, many people will be rightly concerned that it took customer complaints before Tesco staff realised the costume was highly inappropriate. Do better next time, please!