Estée Lauder’s corporate pitch on diversity was created by John Demsey. He lost his job due to an offensive Instagram post.
John Demsy is the senior executive for Estee Lauder.
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is a worldwide American cosmetics company with headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It produces and markets cosmetics such as makeup, skincare, fragrances, and hair care products. After L’Oréal, it is the second-largest cosmetics company in the world. La Mer, Jo Malone London, Clinique, and Tom Ford Beauty are just a few of the many brands that the firm owns and distributes internationally through both retail and internet platforms.
John Demsey- Due to an abusive Instagram post, a senior Estée Lauder executive was fired.
John Demsey, the beauty industry titan who made MAC Cosmetics into one of Estée Lauder’s largest subsidiaries, spent a large portion of the first year of the pandemic at home doing things that befitted a high-flying corporate executive: zooming with colleagues, bringing home a Goldendoodle, and adding to his collection of Rolexes and Audemars Piguet.
After working for more than three decades for one of the biggest cosmetic businesses in the world, Estée Lauder announced it had fired senior executive John Demsey after he shared a last week racial meme on Instagram.
Racism is the treatment of someone with prejudice or on the basis of their race or ethnicity. Racism can be seen in social behaviors, customs, or governmental structures that encourage the use of discriminating tactics to show prejudice or aversion.
According to a recent regulatory filing, John Demsey, who served as the business’ executive group president, will retire on March 4 and leave the organization.
The cosmetics business claimed in a statement that John Demsey’s dismissal was due to his “recent Instagram posts, which do not reflect the values of the Estée Lauder Companies” and that they “caused widespread offense.”
The worldwide principles and priorities of our organization are centered on inclusion, diversity, and equity. Additionally, over the past two years, we have collaborated as a company to strengthen our approach to racial fairness and have carefully considered where we can and should improve, according to CEO Fabrizio Freda and executive chairman William P. Lauder.
The business continues, “Together we are moving forward on our commitments to our employees, our partners, and our customers.”
According to Estée Lauder, Demsey has been told he must “leave the company, effective this week.”
Demsey posted a meme of a Sesame Street parody book cover on Instagram on his personal account, which was originally noted by The Wall Street Journal last week. The COVID-19 coronavirus was referenced as the “Rona” in an article by Insider, where the meme claimed that one of the characters used the N-word and claimed to have “done got the ‘rona at a Chingy concert.”
Since then, the meme has been removed from John Demsey’s Instagram profile. Demsey was placed on leave last week as the business looked into the incident.
On Saturday, Demsey posted an apology to Instagram, saying he was “terribly sorry” and the meme “is the furthest thing” from what he stands for.
Demsey remarked, “There are not enough words to describe my regret and grief. “The terrible mistake I made has undermined everything I have worked for since I started my career 31 years ago, not only did I hurt many people whom I respect.”
Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, several major corporations are attempting to become more inclusive. The news of Demsey’s unexpected firing coincides with this effort.
Companies all over the world started issuing calls to action in the wake of Floyd’s death, including more diversity in advertising, higher investment in diverse businesses, and even a promise to hire and promote their Black staff.
The Estée Lauder Companies were established in New York City over 70 years ago. The corporation owns a wide range of beauty brands, including MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Clinique, and also produces a variety of skincare, cosmetics, fragrance, and hair care products.
The asterisked version of a racial epithet in the post caught the attention of Estée Laundry, an anonymous Instagram account. Soon after, Mr. Demsey removed the post, but Estée Laundry—a brand with about 200,000 followers—reposted it with the caption, “How’s it OK for a beauty executive (responsible for the branding and direction of a company that claims to focus on diversity and inclusion) to post this?” and a question about whether it was time for him to be fired.
Due to their racist remarks to employees and others, powerful white executives have lost their jobs during the past few years. Greg Glassman, the founder, and CEO of CrossFit, sent a tweet that made light of the shooting of George Floyd and argued angrily with CrossFit facility owners about race over a video chat. John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s, used a racist slur during a conference call.
“While nepotism may not be the best method, to sum up everything that is wrong with the industry, it unquestionably dominates it. Nepotism toward white models, actors, and editors, according to Steve Stoute, who oversaw Urban Music at Sony Music in the 1990s, later rose to the position of executive vice president at Interscope Geffen A&M, and later founded Translation, a marketing and branding firm that worked with the NBA, the NFL, Jay-Z, Nas, and Beyoncé, among other clients. One of the first to end that pattern was John Demsey.
A spokeswoman for Estée Lauder has emphasized that John Demsey was not dismissed but rather informed that he must quit the organization. He consented to leave his position in March.
Apology By John Demsey
In his apology written on February 25, Mr. Demsey said that he hadn’t read the meme. However, nobody had posted it for him. (Although Mr. Demsey does not have a nondisclosure agreement, the terms of his cash settlement require him to refrain from denigrating Estée Lauder. He declined to comment on this piece through a lawyer.)
Chris Taliaferro, a self-described Chingy superfan who is Black and 39 years old, invented the meme. He said in an interview that the initial post was meant as an absurdist joke about people’s desire to party during a pandemic. (Chingy, a good-time party rapper who isn’t much edgier than Bruno Mars, had his last big hit in 2005.)
Mr. Taliaferro had no idea Mr. John Demsey would repost it.
“As a Caucasian executive of a multibillion-dollar company, you have to have situational awareness,” said Mr. Taliaferro, who declined to provide his job title or occupation because his own employers have had issues with his posts.
Unsurprisingly, comments accusing Mr. Demsey (and his apologists) of racism arose shortly after his decision to share the Chingy meme.
A New York Watch-world blogger named Jason Gong commented, “What I see here is a long list of privileged white people defending a white, wealthy, and privileged man they claim has dedicated his life to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” perhaps alluding to supporters like Martha Stewart and socialite Cornelia Guest. After that, he continued, “Wealthy white people can claim to be allies of marginalized communities while remaining comfortably oblivious to the casual racism they perpetuate.”
On the other hand, Clyde Williams, a former board member of the MAC AIDS Fund and the former political director of the Democratic National Committee under President Barack Obama, claimed that Mr. John Demsey’s termination from Estée Lauder highlights “what is most toxic about cancel culture.”
The de facto industry spokesperson on diversity issues, Bethann Hardison, added that Estée Lauder “should show some cojones and offer the man his job back.”
According to Mr. Combs, he entered the company “with other people in power who are slightly racist.” I must communicate with them daily because I see them and talk to them frequently. Not John Demsey, that. He released a meme, made a mistake, and as a result, his entire career has been destroyed.
The series of actions that Mr. Demsey started in February eventually led to his forcible resignation from Estée Lauder less than a week later, and they became a complex contemporary morality drama.
John Demsey- What are the Dangers of Social Media
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- Issues like cyberbullying and stalking are relevant in certain circumstances.
You may avoid developing a dependency on social media in a variety of ways. The advice we’ve given is supported by science and can help you manage your social media usage. You may avoid developing a social media addiction by being aware of the situations and people that make you want to use social media, setting boundaries, taking breaks from social media, and engaging in other activities.