Executive group president of Estée Lauder, John Demsey, has been forced to leave the company after sharing a meme on his Instagram account with the n-word, reported NBC News. Per the company statement, he was not “fired” but told to leave and will retire this week.
The Instagram post was of a Sesame Street themed meme about Covid with the n-word, per NBC. It’s since been deleted.
The statement said the post is “damaging to our efforts to drive inclusivity both inside and outside our walls” and does not “reflect the judgment we expect of our leaders.”
“Inclusion, diversity and equity are core to our company’s values and priorities globally. Furthermore, over the past two years, we have worked together as an organization to advance our approach to racial equity and have taken a hard look at where we can and should do better,” the statement said.
The statement was shared with employees and included the names William P. Lauder, executive chairman, and Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer.
“There are not enough words to express my remorse and sorrow. Not only did I hurt many people whom I respect, the terrible mistake that I made has undermined everything I have been working for since I began my career 31 years ago. The meme is the furthest thing from what I stand for and I should have never reposted it,” said Demsey via Instagram.