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

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Things That Matter

A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

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Arizona Congresswoman Says That Hispanics Are ‘Good Workers’ But Shouldn’t Get Vaccines Before ‘American Citizens’

Things That Matter

Arizona Congresswoman Says That Hispanics Are ‘Good Workers’ But Shouldn’t Get Vaccines Before ‘American Citizens’

Photo via Getty Images

Coronavirus infection rates are falling drastically, but a new debate rages on: how to quickly, effectively, and ethically distribute vaccines to as many people as possible.

Last week, Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko stated that Hispanic people–despite being “good workers”–shouldn’t get vaccinated before “American citizens”.

“I worked with people that are Hispanic,” Rep. Lesko said “I mean they’re very good workers…We’re compassionate people, but for goodness sakes, we have to take care of American citizens, or people that are here legally, first.”

She continued: “I’m just not going to be able to explain to my senior citizens that we’re giving away the vaccines to people that (are) here illegally. I just think that’s totally wrong.”

“My Democratic colleagues are putting illegal immigrants over them,” Lesko said during the hearing. “If I read it right, all this amendment says is put Americans first. Put Americans first, and once they’re all vaccinated, then you can go to the illegal immigrants.”

The statement was made during a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing where representatives were debating an amendment to a COVID-19 relief bill.

The Republican amendment suggested prioritizing American citizens over non-citizens when it comes to getting vaccinated first. Democrats argued that purposefully excluding non-citizens from getting vaccinated would keep the virus from being properly contained.

“The vaccine has no clue about where you come from, whether you have papers, whether you’re considered a citizen or legal or not,” said Democratic Congresswoman from Illinois, Jan Schakowsky. “It makes no sense. This is dangerous.”

Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada told NBC News that Lesko’s statement “reeks of racism.”

“There are a lot of people of color in her district and for her to be disconnected and really that offensive about how she sees us, as nothing more than good workers and not entitled to equitable vaccine distribution,” he said.

When asked about her remarks, Rep. Lesko defend them to political outlet The Hill: “Taken in context, my remarks clearly were aimed at ensuring that seniors receive taxpayer-funded vaccines before illegal immigrants,” she said. “During debate on the amendment, after being interrupted several times, I said something that could be misinterpreted, but it certainly was not my intent.”

But it seems that it this point, Lesko is trying to do damage control. Just today, she tweeted out a picture of the local “Hispanic Advisory Board”, accompanied by a caption written completely in Spanish.

“Estoy orgullosa por el lanzamiento de nuestra Junta Asesora Hispana, la primera reunión fue anoche,” the tweet read. “Esta se enfocará en las maneras en que podemos servir mejor a los miembros de nuestra comunidad Hispana en Arizona!” (“I am proud of the launch of our Hispanic Advisory Board, the first meeting was last night. It will focus on ways we can better serve members of our Hispanic community in Arizona!“)

Serving a state that is 30% Hispanic, it seems like Lesko may now be regretting her previous comments…

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