Apple CEO bitchslaps Melbourne store staff in front of whole company


news In an email to all staff, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly called a recent incident in which black teenagers were turned away from an Apple store in Melbourne “unacceptable”.

The incident came to light after a video was posted on Youtube showing several black teens from Sudan and Somalia being asked to leave the store because a staff member thought they “might steal something.”

Apple apologised to the students afterwards and issued a statement, saying: “We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”


Now Cook has further made his thoughts clear on the matter, with an email to all staff.

As well as calling the incident “unacceptable”, the email further emphasises the tech giant’s commitment to diversity and says staff will be receiving extra training to avoid such incidents in the future. Cook wrote:

“Our stores and our hearts are open to people from all walks of life, regardless of race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, income, language or point of view. All across our company, being inclusive and embracing our differences makes our products better and our stores stronger.

The Apple Store Highpoint is staffed by people who share these values and illustrate our commitment to diversity. The team is made up of coworkers from Australia, as well as Egypt, Italy, India and five other nations. Collectively they speak 15 languages, including Urdu, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin.

While I firmly believe that this was an isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in our stores, we will use this moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. Our store leadership teams around the world, starting in Australia, will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement. These are concepts and practices they know well, but can always stand to reinforce.”

Read the full email at Buzzfeed.

Image credit: Apple


  1. I was kicked out of stores all the time as a teenager if there were more than 4 or 5 of us (we were all anglo). The reason being:

    1) Most teenagers don’t have much cash (let alone a couple of grand for new apple products)
    2) Teenagers are idiots (generally)
    3) Teenage boys are destructive idiots (generally).

    I wonder if the staff will need to pay for broken/stolen stuff after this message?

    • Yeah, they had nothing to apologise for. Get more than 3 teenagers, sex is irrelevant, in a group and there is higher chance of mischief. I was young once and I was a bloody idiot.

    • Tim Cook should release the security footage of the teenagers’ “acceptable behaviour” in the store so we all know why throwing them out was unacceptable!

  2. I see massive groups of teenagers in shops such as E B Games and they don’t get booted out. So why should Apple boot them out?

    • Because teenagers can generally afford a $50 game. Even then, that’s also locked behind a desk (hint: they have to lock it away because teenagers who can’t pay $50 run off with stuff, just like they’d run off with a locked down macbook after 2 seconds with a cable cutter).

  3. I think the use of the term “bitchslap” is a poor choice by Daniel Palmer and doesn’t serve Delimiter well. Leave the misogyny and stupid headlines to the Register.

  4. Has anyone seen any other articles looking into the context of what happened here?

    It’s not like the staff of any retail store to accuse customers of stealing … especially an Apple Store where the merchandise is normally literally araldited to cabled on desks, and thus incapable of being stolen.

    I’d like to know the backstory, and I haven’t seen it reported so far in the media.

  5. I’m just disapointed with this article. It sounded like there’s a S.Balmer at Apple all of a sudden and all one gets is a quite reserved email to company stating the obvious and mentioning a store name (that isn’t a secret).

    There’s every chance this was over hyped in social media (I’ve not seen the you tube) from the title of this article its looking like Apples reaction has been severely over stated by at least Delimiter :(

    “The Apple Store Highpoint is staffed by ….”

    If there was something other than this that occurred that might indicate the title is halfway relevant I’ll stand corrected and Daniel can have my apologies but otherwise … for shame!

  6. This sort of thing is rampant in Australia. I worked at a liquor store about 10 years ago and was explicitly told by management and other staff to treat aboriginal people differently and essentially assume that they were all thieves and then act accordingly (i.e. follow them around and let them know they are being watched).

    This incident didn’t surprise me at all.

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