Updated below on February 23, 2018
EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — Former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd says Staples racially profiled her.
Shepherd, also known for her work as a sitcom actress, was in no laughing mood while posting a tirade on Instagram Thursday evening.
The incident occurred at a Staples in East Hollywood, she said.
KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reported from the location where she found patrons who said the store was actually very diverse. That is in stark contrast to how Shepherd found the store.
Shepherd and a friend were buying supplies for a seminar when the performer says she experienced racism.
“I’m not ghetto but I sure wanted to be. Staples? Is this how you treat your customers?,” she said, “Is this how you treat your customers? You racially profile them?”
Shepherd called out the store on social media claiming a cashier told her friend the bathroom was broken and they could not use it. She then learned from another employee that there was nothing wrong with the bathroom.
“We used the bathroom. She asked the manager why would the cashier say that? She was told maybe the bathrooms needed to be cleaned. They didn’t need to be cleaned. So I asked the cashier. They were fine — why would you lie? She said ‘If you’re not going to buy anything we’re instructed to tell people that.'”
That only made Shepherd angrier.
Just got cursed out by a cashier @staples at 4641 Santa Monica Blvd in LA. My girlfriend @kimrtavares & I were there to get supplies for a seminar when Kim asked where was their restroom & we were told they were broken and we needed t go to @riteaid – Kim walked over to #RiteAid but their bathroom was in use so she came back to #Staples. Another employee gave us the combination to their #bathroom which worked fine. When questions The manager (Edgar) said the cashier Janice Reyes May have said it bc the bathrooms needed to be cleaned. They were clean and working bc I used it. When I questioned Miss Reyes on why she said that at first she wouldn’t answer and then said “we are told to tell people if they don’t buy they can’t use our bathroom” when I said well we were customers – you should have stated your policy instead of lying, Ms Reyes starts screaming “I am not going to take this shit. I am not going to take this fucking shit!” And she storms off but not before it got heated w Kim. #Staples this treatment by an employee is unacceptable. It was embarrassing – and had I had my son Jeffrey w me it would’ve been a different situation. Your employees are participating in racial profiling. I will take my business to @amazon or @OfficeDepot where customer service is better . Miss Reyes May be going through personal issues but if she is, then she should be doing something else at Staples rather than dealing with customers. And the fact that none of the employees did anything? It should be on their cameras. #unacceptable #pleaseshare #amazon #officedepot #oncamera #blackhistorymonth #injusticia #injustices #kimtavares #saynotoracism
“Well why didn’t you tell us that? ecause that’s a policy?,” Shepherd fumed.
Shepherd says the cashier yelled at her, used the F word and then stormed away.
Cruz spoke to people who said they frequent that store and believe it was more a case of confusion than racism.
“Maybe it might’ve been a misunderstanding, a lack of patience on both sides. Miscommunication is possible,” said James Knox.
“As far as them being racist, I don’t think so. I had a buddy that used to work there,” said one man
“It’s fair. They treat people fairly because I just saw it today,” said Michele Toftness.
Others say they’ve been turned down from using the bathroom in other places because employees didn’t want to clean up after people.
“Definitely 100 percent of the people will say no. Down in the garment district. I was just surprised that I guess this happened here.” said shopper Tuck John Porter.
Staples responded to Shepherd on social media saying they take this matter very seriously and a spokesperson told Cruz they “apologized to Ms. Shepherd for any inconvenience and are looking into it and will take appropriate action.”
Cruz reached out to Shepherd and her management team but did not hear back.
Updated on February 23, 2018 to add the following statement from Janice Reyes:
“Janice Reyes, the Staples cashier, referenced in Sherri Shepherd’s posts, wants to set the record straight. When Ms. Reyes came into work on the morning of the incident, she was informed by her manager that the bathroom was out of order. She was not told at anytime during the shift that the bathroom was open for use. When Ms. Shepherd and her friend came into Staples, they immediately approached Ms. Reyes. Kim Tavares, Ms. Shepherd’s friend, asked for the bathroom. Ms. Reyes told them that the bathroom was out of order (never said it was “broken”) and told them they might try Rite Aid. At that time Ms. Reyes was under the assumption the bathroom was out of order. Ms. Reyes believes that Ms. Tavares was also Hispanic as she is. According to an eye witness, Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares got in line with a few items for Ms. Reyes’s register. As soon as it was their turn both Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares allegedly started to harass and provoke Ms. Reyes in a very loud confrontational manner. Ms. Reyes, according to the witness, was ringing up the items and remained quiet as Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares allegedly yelled at Ms. Reyes, allegedly calling her a “Stupid liar.” Ms. Reyes politely tried to tell them that the bathroom may be unavailable because it is reserved for customers who buy something in the store or it may be out of order. Ms. Shepherd left out the second part of the statement in her posts. After repeatedly calling Ms. Reyes a liar, Ms. Reyes finally lost her composure and allegedly said “I can’t take this sh** anymore” and walked away. The witness did not hear Ms. Reyes raise her voice at Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares, nor did she hear Ms. Reyes yell or cuss at either Ms. Shepherd or Ms. Tavares. Ms. Reyes vehemently denies “racially profiling” either Ms. Shepherd or Ms. Tavares. Ms. Shepherd allegedly left the store without buying anything. Ms. Shepherd complained to the Staples corporate office and Ms. Tavares was terminated as a result of the incident.”