One of the students recorded the incident – on an iPhone, ironically – and shared it over social media. The video soon went viral and caught the attention of news outlets around the world.
Unable to ignore the mounting criticism, CEO Tim Cook addressed the situation in a letter to Buzzfeed News.
“What people have seen and heard from watching the video on the web does not represent our values,” he wrote. “It is not a message we would ever want to deliver to a customer or hear ourselves. None of us are happy with the way this was handled.”
Cook added that, starting in Australia, store leadership teams around the world would be refreshing their training on “inclusion and customer engagement”.
“These are concepts and practices they know well, but can always stand to reinforce,” he said.
Cook goes on to explain that one of the senior managers at the Melbourne store did go on to apologise to the ousted boys, after their school’s principal returned seeking an explanation.
“She reassured these young men that they and their fellow classmates would always be welcome at our store,” he said.
The school’s principal later told a reporter that the manager had delivered her message ‘with good grace’ and Mabior Ater, one of the students evicted from the store, said;
“It feels like we have justice now.”
The video of the incident can be seen below:
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Tim Cook has ordered retraining in Apple stores around the world after a controversial video appeared online showing black teenagers being removed from a shop over fears they “might steal something”.