Victoria's Secret has been left red-faced after turning its cheek on one of its customers.
The incident occurred on December 7th at a mall in Oxford, Alabama, when a store manager asked Kimberly Houzah, who is African American, to leave the store.
"I just need y'all to go," the manager is heard on a Facebook Live video telling Houzah and another black woman after a different black woman was allegedly caught shoplifting. None of the dozen or so white shoppers were asked to leave, Houzah said.
Once the scandal emerged, Victoria's Secret apologized and quickly fired the employee — but not before Houzah's Facebook Live video had racked up over a million views.
"I already didn't need to be spending the money, but I'm like you know what, I'm going to treat myself," said Houzah, a 27-year-old nurse, in the video as she tearfully exited the mall.
"Why I gotta be put out just because I'm black in Victoria's Secret... and we just happened to be in the store at the same time."
The company said it had reached out to Houzah and apologized for the incident.
"What happened at our store should not have happened and does not represent who we are or what we stand for," wrote Victoria's Secret in a statement posted on Facebook the next day.
"Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times."
The employee involved no longer worked for the company, the statement added.
Houzah couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
She returned on December 8th to the mall with 20 other supporters and received an apology from the store manager as security guards and plain-clothed policemen watched, according to The Anniston Star.
The Quintard Mall directed requests for comment to Limited Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret.
Houzah said her goal was to be treated fairly.
"I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone," said Houzah in a followup message posted online.
"I'm an African-American female and I just want to be treated like everybody else."