US cosmetics giant Estee Lauder has apologized after unilaterally shipping a darker shade of foundation to Asian customers, but their decision to single out women in their apology is drawing yet another round of criticism.
The company came under fire earlier this week after a viral online review revealed that a matte foundation product ordered online arrived in a different shade with a note explaining that Ivory Nude was the “best color for Asians” while Shell, which the customer had originally ordered, “doesn’t go well with Asians.”
In a statement Monday, Estee Lauder said it “sincerely apologizes to customers” for the trouble it caused and that the action doesn’t reflect the “diverse beauty of every woman.” But the gender specific wording invited another round of criticism as being outdated at a time when the male beauty market is thriving.
“Do only women wear makeup?” one comment read on Instagram. Others have called for action to be taken against the staff members responsible in the decisions.
Estee Lauder Korea issued an apology on Instagram on Tuesday amid growing accusations of racism. (Instagram)
One Estee Lauder Korea official said the company is taking steps to directly issue an apology to customers who had received the controversial note. The official declined to comment as to whether any employees responsible for the note would be reprimanded.
The company also said it would ramp up internal training and review work procedures in the wake of the incident.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org