ONE MONTH after Starlite Pharmacy chief executive Gerald Aboud posted controversial statements on Facebook over the killing of George Floyd in the United States, an international cosmetics brand has decided to pull its products from the store.
Inglot Cosmetics, a 37-year-old company based in Poland, announced via its social media pages on Thursday the termination of its distribution contract with Starlite “with immediate effect”.
“Given the ideologies expressed by Starlite’s CEO, we cannot in good faith continue to distribute our products through this company,” Inglot stated.
“With this step toward meaningful change, we remain committed to serving our customers and working only with partners who align with our core values of inclusivity, tolerance and respect,” it announced.
Following the police killing of African-American George Floyd in the United States last month, which sparked massive Black Lives Matter protests across the US, Aboud took to his Facebook page to defend the use of the slogan “All Lives Matter” by the owner of Dianne’s Tea Shop Dianne Hunt.
The term “All Lives Matter” has come to be associated with criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“If someone wants to say #alllivesmatter, they may have that right to say that. Just like you can say blacklivesmatter and mean something else, they can also say all lives matter and also include to support the black movement. WTF!,” Aboud wrote.
“Racism is one thing and the right to have an opinion is another. If I don’t like Chinese people, you can’t force me to like Chinese people. I may have reasons and I am entitled to that,” Aboud added.
He went on:
“Many people have been oppressed over time and none of it should be tolerated. Black people I will say this, we see your plight and we feel for all of you, we really do, however, what you need to do is rise up from this state of mind, that is all I can say. Every time you go steal a sneakers and do some sh** regardless you make it much worse for yourselves. Killing your people everyday, does black lives matter then? Rise up and work towards improvement.”
Many people felt Aboud’s comments were racist.
Despite two apologies from the businessman, some shoppers delivered on their promise to boycott the establishment.
Starlite Pharmacy had been the authorised distributor for Inglot Cosmetics in Trinidad since Inglot launched here in April 2016.
Inglot said on Thursday that in the coming weeks it will announce new distribution outlets that it feels can contribute to and supports its ideals.
Inglot is the second company to withdraw its products from Starlite after Aboud’s comments.
On June 7, local chocolatier Gillian Goddard announced on Instagram that she was pulling her Sun Eaters Organics chocolates from Starlite.