Woman confronts California worker wearing blackface in Staples

Kristen Sze Image
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
VIDEO: Woman confronts worker wearing blackface in East Bay store
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A new video has surfaced of a worker in a Staples store wearing blackface that's gone viral after an ABC7 News report this past weekend.

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. -- A new video that surfaced of a worker in a California Staples store wearing blackface has gone viral.

VIDEO: Woman confronts worker about 'blackface' costume

ABC11's sister station ABC7 News had obtained the video where you can hear the worker explain her Halloween costume to an offended customer after first joking that she could also be a "Napa fire spa guest."

Customer Geneen Bland: "What is your costume supposed to be?"

Worker: "Oh I'm a beauty shop customer."

Bland: "A beauty shop customer? Why is your face black?"

Worker: "This is a charcoal mask. Have you ever seen them?"

Bland: "Looks like blackface to me."

Worker: "Oh no no no..."

Bland provided her video after seeing another story about the Staples worker over the weekend featuring another offended shopper.

FULL INTERVIEW: Geneen Bland describes confrontation with employee in 'blackface'

She says she complained to the store manager to no avail, and then approached HR, which apologized, told Bland the woman was wearing a "Sharpie costume" and that she works for a contractor called Marketsource. They also told Bland the worker was there to promote HP products.

The office supply giant issued a statement reading: "Staples apologizes to any customers that were offended in the store, as well as those that may have viewed a photo of the representative on social media."

Marketsource offered a similar apology statement to ABC7 News. And Bland said a Marketsource manager called and told her the worker has been suspended.