Apple has apologised to six teenagers who were ejected from the company’s store in the Highpoint shopping centre in Melbourne allegedly on suspicion that they might steal something.
The black students, who were from Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt and Eritrea moved to Australia as children, accused Apple of treating them differently because of the colour of their skin.
The incident was captured on video and shared on social media where it immediately went viral.
It showed an Apple store staff member saying “these guys (security guards) are just a bit worried about your presence in our store, they’re just worried you might steal something”.
And after protests from the students the Apple store staff member cut them off saying: “End of discussion, I need to ask you to leave our store”.
Apple investigated the incident before issuing an apology and a statement about the company’s diversity and equlity.
“Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions,” an Apple spokesperson said.
“We’ve looked into the details of the situation and we apologise to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be.”
On Wednesday, Apple invited the students from Maribyrnong College and the school’s principal back to the store where the manager then apologised.