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Ghanaian Man sues Louis Vuitton over “Black People are Slaves” Comment by Store Manager

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Louis Vuitton - June 2014 - BellaNaija.com 01
Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton is being sued over racism claims after a manager at a flagship store reportedly told a Ghanaian employee that “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor”.

Oliver Koffi, a Ghanaian sales associate at the store claims that he was in a stock room packing a pair of shoes for a customer when his boss began issuing the racist rant in front of a shocked staff.

According to the Mirror UK, the manager allegedly called President Barack Obama a “muppet” and said America would be better off with “Miss Piggy” as its president because “Muslim people…don’t eat pork”.

Koffi told reporters that he was humiliated by the “black slaves” slur while working at the store in Central London.

Details of the allegations emerged in paper which according to the Mirror, will be presented to a Central London Employment Tribunal on the 18th of July.

Koffi is suing Louis Vuitton for racist discrimination and harassment, claiming the manager’s tone was cold and serious as he made the comments during a discussion on the origins of the English language with him and three members of staff in December.

“During this discussion, my manager quite randomly stated that ‘black people are slaves and eat dirt off the floor’. This comment was grossly offensive and extremely humiliating. His ­reference to slavery in this day and age with regards to black people is quite frankly revolting.” Koffi said.

He says he recorded the comments on tape after his manager’s “racist conduct”.

Koffi also claims that the manager “went on a rant about black people and other races and religions. He jumped from subject to subject, making comments about other races and religions. He made comments about Barack Obama.

All of his comments were derogatory and a clear illustration of his prejudices towards other races and religions.”

Koffi said he told the manager he was offended by the comment, and the manager apologized and claimed it was a joke.

The manager who had been let go following a disciplinary proceeding, previously questioned his nationality, asking “where are you originally from?”

Louis Vuitton has accepted that racist comments were made but defends the claims on the basis that the company had taken all steps to prevent the comment. A spokesperson said the brand has zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind.

Photo Credit: Mirror.co.uk

26 Comments

  1. Cheliz

    June 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    He better sue them real good. lol.
    chelizrubycube.blogspot.com

  2. Thatgidigirl

    June 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Koffi is fiiiiiine! daz all.

    • baboushka

      June 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      hahahahhaha and that is all you took from the article loooool

    • www.ANEMISTYLE.com

      June 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Hahaha

    • Omonaija

      June 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Yep daz all I took from the article as well.

  3. Bade

    June 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    All the problems in this world have a link with islam

    • funke

      June 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      And the world is a poorer place because of an ignorant bade

  4. Annie

    June 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Kofi is fine ehh? are u looking for Johnny? :-p

  5. Swiss

    June 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Sure the comments are racist and grossly offensive but I wonder if the man suing has any “locus standi” to sue. Perhaps the lawyers on here can educate me?
    And it states that LV fired the manager, that’s a clear indication that they don’t condone his behaviour, why then is he suing the company as though the company did nothing about the incidence.
    I doubt he has a case.

    • slice

      June 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      good questions. he has standing to sue. he was there when the comments were made and he works there. he is alleging hostile work environment. if he can show a history of tolerance of this kind of behaviour, then he’ll have a case. you make a good point that they fired the manager. he can work around it if he shows the discipline was not immediate or that prior to this event, they had appeared tolerant of things like this

    • Gorgeous

      June 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      You know the big big legal terms. But dont know that the manager represents management of the company. And he acts in the interest of the company/represents the views of the company to the staff he manages. How he acts in that position can be said to be a representation of the company’s beliefs. LV can be sued if the manager said all these in the course of carrying out his duties. I never liked all these over expensive for nothing stores. Always cold. Funny that the people he is insulting are their biggest customers. SMH.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      The employee has standing to sue because he was directly present when the events giving rise to the claim occurred. And those events affected him, as a member of the ethnicity being insulted.

      LV as a corporation is also vicariously liable, notwithstanding the manager’s dismissal. You’d have the similar right to sue in the UK if your boss made degrading remarks about your sex, age, sexual orientation. Actually employment legislation in the United Kingdom is a toasty, hot potato and damages for lost earnings, trauma suffered, legal costs, etc. could easily see companies parting with 5-6 figure sums of ££ in compensation.

      What always makes me laugh about these characters that make racist comments in certain environment is how cunning they are about choosing their audience. You feel that strongly about Africans, eh? Why don’t you go to Peckham on a dark night and walk up to a group of black people there and make your statement? You clearly hold fast to your belief so go out and share it with the people who need to hear from you.

  6. bimz

    June 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Bade GTFOH…

  7. nene

    June 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    there is a race problem in france, like other parts of the world. there are lots of blacks and muslims in france, but some of the locals are very unfriendly and racist. i just wish we were all born with the same skin tone so things like this won’t happen, or better still, i wish africa and black people can start doing big and better things so the orld can respect us like the asians (china, japan, south korea).

  8. el patron

    June 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Chaley is just looking for a pay day! If a average Joe on the street has said that and apologized will he still sue?
    He insulted blacks..Ehn let’s blacks respond now,if he has insulted you,insult your own too back.
    Blacks have been slaves history! Lets move away from that and project on the future.

    • reverse

      June 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Everybody isn’t looking for a pay day like you! Did he ask to be insulted? So it’s well within his rights to sue. You may choose to start a fight in the market, he chose to fight it legally

    • dejuan

      July 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Here’s the issue Blacks were not the first slaves, the only slaves, and based on the evil thats in man we will not be the last

  9. Felinda1

    June 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    In London this will be a foolish case they will throw out
    But in America this Ghanaian dude and his co workers will be Millonaires no doubt
    This is one thing i love about America, Law suit on Racism works well. In Europe and in UK specifically they dont give a shit and there is no NAACP to back you.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      There’s no NAACP in the UK but employment law has become a very busy field, thanks to the recognition of employee rights. What the NAACP does is raise the publicity of these kinds of suits (and thanks to the jury system in the US, it’s always good to have your case in the papers) and also provide legal assistance if it’s needed. It’s help that litigants in the UK don’t have but if you know the law and have the passion (and resources) to fight, nobody’s going to be throwing your case out.

    • Author Unknown

      July 1, 2014 at 6:21 am

      I could be mistaken about your comment, but jurors should ideally not be influenced by media trial. America however takes racial discrimination a lot more seriously than any other society. It’s over done sometimes in my opinion.

  10. www.worldshocker.blogspot.com

    June 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    JOEL E ANTHONY.: These vituperation’s are becoming unbearable.. and what is the see-zee doing about it? Nothing!!!

  11. stella

    June 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    @ el patron what you said doesn’t make sense.He dint just insult black people but made him feel inferior because of his race he must have felt so sad and develop hate,it would bring his morale down.there is no difference with what that man did and lynching trying to intimidate the man he should sue for there every penny or he would never learn.

  12. Andromeda

    July 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I tried to not say anything. I can’t. I don’t understand how so many white people have so many issues with black people or people of color. If they had left us alone in Africa in the first place we wouldn’t be having these problems now.

    We must have been the most awesome people in the past and made all these people hate themselves because they can’t stand us at all anywhere in Europe.

    African= Unwanted and that is a shame because we contribute to every place we live in and do out best to stay creative, industrious and self sufficient. Yes there are a few that we would all like to not talk about like the lowest of our low but that is true of every society. We need to stop seeing color and start seeing individual worth.

    Maybe we do need an alien invasion, super flu attack of some sort or an E.L.E (extinction level event) to give people something real to focus on instead of living in these made up worlds where skin color determines more than what it is.

    There is but one mountain(life) and we are all climbing it. Some chose paths that have already been created (religions) some chose to create their own path. There is always more than one way up a mountain. So learn to enjoy your climb and stop worrying about what is happening on the path next to you.

  13. kassy dameji

    July 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

    The white man is afraid of the black they know that the day we wake up huh….so they put us dw nowing dat we made dem who they r now.We r stronger n better than them spiritually n mentally.

  14. Joy

    July 6, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I totally agree with Nene. I really wish us Africans would start doing right by ourselves, in our own Continent and the respect would come naturally. I wish our Government would sit up and make our environment bearable for us to live and thrive in. I wish that the citizenry would come together and demand for better lives, be disciplined , live and work together for the general betterment…….but alas, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride…….

  15. George Mensah

    February 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Theres no lie in that statement 2015 and Black people are still acting like slaves. We dont value or respecr ourselves buy we expect other races to give us respect

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