Fast & Furious star Tyrese Gibson is taking Home Depot to court, accusing the hardware store chain of discrimination and racial profiling.
In a lawsuit reviewed by The Times on Friday, the “Transformers” actor alleges that he and handymen Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez “experienced firsthand outrageous discriminatory abuse and racial consumer profiling” at a Home Depot store in West Hills. . Gibson is Black; Mora and Hernandez are both Hispanic of “Mexican national background.”
At the heart of the lawsuit is an incident on February 11 in which Home Depot employees allegedly “deliberately intervened in a transaction by Gibson, Mora and Hernandez and refused to settle it” based on “their race” and the “national origin” of the craftsmen.
According to legal documents, Gibson and his two employees purchased items for a home improvement project, but the ordering process took longer due to a “glitch in the system.” While an unidentified employee re-scanned the items, fans noticed Gibson exiting the store so as not to cause any disturbance. The lawsuit alleges that Gibson informed the employee that Mora and Hernandez would use his credit card to complete the purchase.
“The teller took note of Gibson and said he understood,” the lawsuit reads. “Gibson asked the cashier if the cashier needed any more information from him to complete the transaction. The cashier said no and Gibson could go.”
After Gibson left, the cashier “refused to complete the transaction with Mora and Hernandez,” though Gibson re-approved the transaction via FaceTime video calls, the document said. Gibson returned to the store and completed the transaction “only after a heated discussion with the cashier,” the lawsuit states. The actor also asked to speak to the store manager, who reportedly declined to speak to Gibson in person.
“This is a clear and regrettable example of discriminatory abuse and racial profiling of consumers,” the lawsuit states. “The Home Depot’s treatment of Gibson, Mora and Hernandez was humiliating and demeaning.”
Gibson’s lawsuit alleges that Home Depot violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides that “every person within the jurisdiction of that state … is entitled to the full and equal accommodation, benefit, facility, privilege or service in any business of any kind.” have.” whatever.” Gibson’s lawsuit also alleges that Home Depot employees “were unable to do the job they were hired to do” and that their “incompetence” harmed the actor and his employees have.
A Home Depot representative told The Times in a statement, “Diversity and respect for all people are core to us, and we do not condone discrimination of any form.”
The statement continued: “We value Mr Gibson as a customer and have been in contact with him on a number of occasions in the months since this happened to try to resolve his concerns. We will continue to do so.”
Gibson said in a statement shared with the Times through his legal counsel that he and his fellow plaintiffs “are diligent in fulfilling our obligations to civil rights and promoting empathy and understanding.”
“We stand united against organizations like The Home Depot and envision a world free of discriminatory practices and racial profiling of consumers,” the statement continued. “As I have done for the past 20+ years, I promise to continue to use my platform to empower the voiceless, fostering a spirit of unity and hope, while illuminating our common path forward.”
Gibson, Mora and Hernandez are seeking $1 million in damages, plus statutory damages and attorneys’ fees. The million dollars is an estimate of what the actor, a “long-time customer of The Home Depot,” has spent on materials at the chain over the years, the lawsuit alleges.
The “Baby Boy” actor previously opened up about the February incident on Instagram, sharing the following: Video about his interaction with a Home Depot employee who refused to reveal her full name and the full name of her manager. Later in the video, Gibson spoke to the same employee to get more clarity on the seemingly inconsistent transaction policy.
“This is wrong and people shouldn’t be treated that way,” he said.
Times contributor Nardine Saad and researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.