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.
“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 former Staples cashier:
The Staples cashier, referenced in Sherri Shepherd’s posts, wants to set the record straight. When the cashier 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 the cashier, Kim Tavares, Ms. Shepherd’s friend, asked for the bathroom. The cashier 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, the cashier was under the assumption the bathroom was out of order. The cashier 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 the cashier’s register. As soon as it was their turn both Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares allegedly started to harass and provoke the cashier in a very loud confrontational manner. The cashier, according to the witness, was ringing up the items and remained quiet as Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares allegedly yelled at the cashier, allegedly calling her a “Stupid liar.” The cashier 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 the cashier a liar, the cashier finally lost her composure and allegedly said “I can’t take this sh** anymore” and walked away. The witness did not hear the cashier raise her voice at Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Tavares, nor did she hear the cashier yell or cuss at either Ms. Shepherd or Ms. Tavares. The cashier 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 the cashier was terminated as a result of the incident.”