Shoppers thrown out of Boston Sephora in filmed apparent blackface incident

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A video showing a Sephora worker telling off a person in apparent blackface at the store in Boston’s Prudential Center has prompted the makeup store to issue a statement reiterating the “type of behavior tolerated” there.

The video, originally posted to TikTok, shows a person who appears to be a white teenager wearing a large circle of brown makeup on her face. Another person, who appears to be an employee, tells an older woman with the person in apparent blackface, “This is the stuff that can influence jobs, college acceptances, let alone how incredibly offensive this is.”

The people filming can be heard calling what they were watching “so shameful.”

While the original TikTok has been deleted, other versions of the video have gone viral.

Sephora released a statement on the incident to NBC10 Boston Tuesday: “Sephora’s top priority is to create a welcoming and inclusive shopping experience for all. We are extremely disappointed by the behavior of these shoppers at our Prudential Center location, and as such, they were asked to leave our premises. Under no circumstance is this type of behavior tolerated at Sephora.”

The company’s statement didn’t offer more details about what happened.

The person who posted the TikTok said the incident left her “so disgusted and disturbed,” Boston.com reported. She was in Boston for a track meet and saw a “group of teenage girls and their mothers come in and go to the make up section to use the samples for black face whilst giggling and making animal sounds.”

The video didn’t show anyone in the group making animal sounds; the identity of the people who were thrown out of the store wasn’t immediately clear.

Blackface is a racist tradition that dates back to American minstrel shows, post-Civil War performances where white actors wore makeup on their skin as they put on songs and skits mocking Black people. Blackface appears in the landmark movie, “The Jazz Singer,” the first feature-length film with sound and music, and it continued to be featured in popular culture for decades.

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