Things That Matter

This Philadelphia Old Navy Store Is Under Fire For Replacing Minority Workers With White Ones During A Taping Of ‘Queer Eye’

If we found out that a camera crew would be coming to my job to do some reality show filming, you best believe we’d be wearing our best digs, contured-up, and smiling ready to hear the words “Action!” Moments like these don’t come often, and even if you’re shy around a camera, everyone loves to be around a set, watching to see what goes on, and who knows, getting those first 15 minutes of fame. It all sounds fun, right? That’s what a group of young employees thought until they were completely robbed of this moment simply based on the color of their skin. 

A Latina posted a lengthy note on Facebook that detailed how a Netflix production crew was set to film “Queer Eye” at their Old Navy store in Philadelphia, only to be replaced during filming by white employees.  

Credit: Twitter/@Monae Alvarado

On Aug. 21, Monae Alvarado wrote that she and the rest of her diverse team at Old Navy in Philly worked really hard to make the store look perfect. She wanted her place of business to look good for the Netflix production crew and for the rest of the guys from the show. The trans-Latina said all the employees at the store of minorities, but the show is pretty diverse itself so she never thought the background people (her and her coworkers) would be an issue, but then it all changed the next day. 

“Today they brought all these workers from other stores around the region (West Chester, Mount Pocono, and Deptford NJ) and they were all white,” Alvarado wrote. “They had us standing in the back not to be seen while the other workers from another store get to work on our floor like it’s their store. The shade I tell you.” 

The next surprising thing is that her post went viral and then people on social media were livid, which is expected considering the context of the show.

Alvarado’s coworker also spoke out on the matter. “Our whole staff was whitewashed,” Marjorie Williams told the Philadelphia Enquirer. Williams has been at that Old Navy location for at least a year. “It was only me and two other black girls in the back. They just kept telling us to go back there, even though there was nothing to do.” As for who is to blame for bringing in white employees, she said she blames the store. “I believe it was the store. When it comes to production, they just want white people or light-skinned people to represent Old Navy.”

Netflix also blames the store. The production crew said they had nothing to do with the white employees taking over.

Credit: Instagram/@fabfivelove

“Queer Eye‘s hosts, producers, and crew had no knowledge or influence on Old Navy staffing choices while filming in a Philadelphia-based store this past week,” Netflix said, according to Newsweek. “While filming, production featured one female employee, an African American manager, who completed an on-camera styling consultation and also served as a point of contact for our crew.”

So Netflix is making it seem as if not that many Old Navy employees were part of the shoot anyway, and the ones that were there were not all white. But the harm was already done. 

Old Navy said they were not trying to whitewash anything. 

Credit: Instagram/@oldnavy

“At Old Navy, we celebrate the diversity of our teams and our customers and foster an environment of inclusion and belonging,” Old Navy said in a statement provided by Newsweek. “We were proud to work with The Queer Eye show to film at our store in Philadelphia and to feature our local store manager on camera.” They added, “We also worked with additional employees in the area to help ensure the store ran seamlessly for customers, as the location was open for business during filming, and we expect they may appear in background shots. These individuals are reflective of our diverse employee population. We would never select employees to participate – or not – based on race. That is completely inaccurate and against the values we stand for as a company.”

We certainly don’t buy that. Do you?

Old Navy is clearly to blame, and now Alvardo seems to be getting shafted at work because she was the one that made the initial post about what happened.

Alvardo told her followers that she went home crying after work because they had a meeting at her job to discuss what happened and they basically ignored her. “I am hurt that the regional managers came in today and called some of my coworkers off the floor to sit and talk with them about the issue while I was standing 10 feet away from them,” she wrote. ” I thought it was rude and disrespectful they didn’t include me in the discussions.” 

Alvardo said they did apologize to her and told her to join the meeting but she said the apology came too late because the meeting was basically over. “I overheard some of them said they don’t see it as racist, which I’m sure they don’t see it that way because they was not there but others did and did felt some way about it and saw it as racist.” She finished her post by saying, “Corporate doesn’t care about you.” Now we can certainly relate to that. 

READ: Queer Eye’s First Latina Client Who Opened Up About Not Speaking Spanish Starts New Skincare Routine

Fashion Institute of Technology Had An Anti-Black Fashion Show That Displayed ‘Ugly Features’

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Fashion Institute of Technology Had An Anti-Black Fashion Show That Displayed ‘Ugly Features’

dietprada/ Instagram

Anti-blackness has proven to be sorely out of style in the past few decades but the fashion world seems to be behind the times on this one. We’ve told you this story time and time again but somehow the presence of racism, anti-Blackness and cultural appropriation has endured on the runways. Even at institutes of learning where you’d think things like this would now be 101.

So here’s the story once again.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is under fire after they allowed a graduate student to send a racist body of work down the runway.

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It shouldn’t be down to the models to have to refuse wearing blatantly racist accessories on the runway, especially not in a show thrown by an institution like @fitnyc. In an alumni show celebrating their 75th anniversary, MFA graduate Junkai Huang showed a collection that was meant to highlight the “ugly features of the body”. The choice of exaggerated bright red fake lips and “monkey ears”, as well as the school’s response, are leaving us shaking our heads. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nearing a breakdown, African-American model Amy Lefevre (@lefevrediary ) spoke up about the accessories, but was told by staff it was “ok to be uncomfortable for only 45 seconds”. It’s one thing when it’s a pair of tricky heels, but quite another when you’re made up to look like racist caricatures from the not-so-distant past. Multiple complaints had been made in the days leading up to the show as well, with several people objecting. One anonymous student who was witness backstage, said the show’s producer @richardthornn told the group to “back down and get away” when they brought up the issue again. The accessories didn’t end up making it onto Lefevre, but that didn’t stop them from going down the runway on other models. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a statement to the NY Post, FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown emphasized allowing the students the “freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative”, but said they would investigate further. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a time when luxury brands are taking swift action by pulling offensive products and implementing diversity councils in response to similar scandals, it’s a shame to see a learning institution dragging their feet. Shouldn’t they be the ones broadening insights for the ones who will lead fashion in the future and not reinforcing the same aspects that have made the industry notoriously problematic? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • #fit #fitnyc #suny #cuny #fashionschool #college #mfa #mastersdegree #alumni #fitalumni #fashiondesigner #design #designer #runway #model #blackface #racism #monkey #grotesque #sexdoll #bodyimage #lumpsandbumps #wiwt #ootd #runwaymodel #nyfw #fashionweek #dietprada

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For the FIT’s presentation which showcased the designers from their first MFA Fashion Design class, students sent models down the runway with thier own collections. FIT alum Junkai Huang was part of the bunch but his line stood out in particular because of its blatant racism. The FIT alum sent models down the runway wearing “large prosthetic ears and lips and bushy eyebrows.” Now people are saying that the images looked quite a bit like racist caricatures.  

On Monday, Diet Prada shared images from the show on Instagram after someone who had gone to the event told the New York Post that the designer aimed to showcase and highlight “ugly features of the body” using props that had been sourced from sex toys.

Amy Lefévre was a model meant to take part in the event but decided to walk out when she saw the props.

“I stood there almost ready to break down, telling the staff that I felt incredibly uncomfortable with having to wear these pieces and that they were clearly racist,” Lefévre told the Post in an interview. According to Lefévre she made the decion to not take part when someone had told her that it was “fine to feel uncomfortable for only 45 seconds.”

“I was literally shaking. I could not control my emotions,” Lefévre said “My whole body was shaking. I have never felt like that in my life. People of color are struggling too much in 2020 for the promoters not to have vetted and cleared accessories for the shows.”

Diet Prada later took to Instagram to share the situation, sparking outrage from many in the fashion community. “Sad times we live in when designers aren’t confident enough to have the clothing sell themselves,” wrote Olivia Dope while another commenter added, “When will this stop? Designers are hung up on controversy to sell cause these pieces can’t sell themselves, clearly.”

In a statement published by the Post, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, said that it would do its best to right the situation.

“This program protects a student’s freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative, so that they find that voice,” Dr. Brown said. “However provocative design and fashion might be though, my commitment to ensure that people are not made to feel uncomfortable, offended, or intimidated is also of the utmost importance not only to me personally but to the college community as well,” they added. “We take this obligation very, very seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action regarding any complaint or concern that is made in this situation.”

In a separate statement to the Pst FIT also issued an apology.

“Currently it does not appear that the original intent of the design, the use of accessories or the creative direction of the show was to make a statement about race; however, it is now glaringly obvious that has been the outcome. For that, we apologize — to those who participated in the show, to students, and to anybody who has been offended by what they saw.”

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

Things That Matter

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

aoc / Instagram / Rush Limbaugh / Facebook

During the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump broke protocol and norms by awarding a “surprise” Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former winners of the award are Ellen DeGeneres, Rosa Parks, Toni Morrison, Isabella Allende, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The newest recipient is conservative and extreme radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh is the latest recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Credit: @Acosta / Twitter

Rush Limbaugh is a Conservative radio host who is known to use racist, sexist, and xenophobic language during his shows. He has used his platform to slut-shame women fighting for affordable access to birth control and once referred to a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton to a dog. During one show, Limbaugh sang a song to perform a racist rant against then-President Barack Obama.

His racist, sexist, and xenophobic rantings are all documented because of his radio show.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” has been nationally syndicated since 1988 and boasts 25 million listeners monthly. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks are among the honorees of the award.

A lot of people don’t agree that Limbaugh deserves the honor.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is supposed to be reserved for civilians who have made major contributions to society. The contributions can be through the arts, philanthropy, science, etc. Many are wondering what Limbaugh has done to further society in a positive way. In a clip from “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Limbaugh is seen making fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease.

Conservatives and Limbaugh fans are most upset with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s take on the medal.

It was recently revealed to the public that Limbaugh was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Many of the AOC critics have held tight to this fact when attacked the Congresswoman.

Some have gone strong against the New York Congresswoman.

Credit: @marklevinshow / Twitter

Conservatives on Twitter are up in arms about AOC calling out a man’s racist, sexist, and xenophobic past. They aren’t mad that the man said and did those things, just that a Latina Congresswoman reminded people of those comments. Think about that.

READ: AOC Said In Any Other Country She And Joe Biden Would Not Even Be In The Same Party