Leslie Jones blasts Sephora on eve of inclusion training, says aide alleges bias

The complaint came on the eve of the company's "inclusivity" training for staff at its more than 400 stores nationwide.
IMDb LIVE After The Emmys 2018
Comedian Leslie Jones attends the 70th Annual Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018, in Los Angeles.Rich Polk / Getty Images for IMDb file

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By Janelle Griffith

Comedian Leslie Jones said her makeup artist called her "in tears" after allegedly being mistreated at a Sephora store. Her complaint Tuesday on Twitter came on the eve of the company's "inclusivity" training for staff at its more than 400 stores nationwide.

Jones had asked her makeup artist to take her best friend's wife to a Sephora store in New York to help her buy new products and learn to apply them, according to the "Saturday Night Live" star and a representative for the makeup artist.

But Jones said her makeup artist, Lola Okanlawon, called her "in tears" over how badly she and the other woman were treated by a salesperson and manager. Jones pledged in a tweet to no longer be a patron of Sephora.

She also offered a suggestion for the beauty retailer in an Instagram post: "@sephora you got to close your store to teach your employees sensitivity" and hire people with sensitivity. "Cause they exist!!! I’m tired of this sh--!! What happen to customer service. Do we just not give a f-- anymore!! #NOMOSEPHORA"

A representative for Okanlawon, who has done the comedian's makeup for the past two years, told NBC News on Wednesday that the incident occurred June 3.

Sephora responded on Twitter to Jones: "@Lesdoggg we're very sorry to hear this. We have reached out via Instagram and hope to connect with you and your friends directly."

The company told NBC News on Wednesday that the information shared by Jones "is concerning" and the situation she describes does not reflect Sephora's values. Sephora said it reached out to Okanlawon to gather more information.

"It is our priority to build an inclusive community and a place where all clients feel respected," Sephora said. "Our journey has not been perfect and is by no means complete. We will continue to learn and work toward this goal."

Jones' complaint came just weeks after R&B singer SZA said a Sephora employee in Calabasas, California, had “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing.”

SZA, who starred in a Fenty Beauty lipstick campaign when Rihanna launched the cosmetics line in 2017, was at the Sephora on April 30 shopping for Fenty Beauty products.

Sephora apologized to SZA, whose real name is Solána Rowe, on Twitter a day after she made the complaint.

On May 23, the retailer announced it would close all of its stores to run a “one-hour inclusivity workshop” for all of its employees at retail locations, distribution centers and corporate offices in the United States.

Sephora said the workshops were planned well before the incident involving SZA and are part of a new brand platform.

"While it is true that SZA’s experience occurred prior to the launch of the 'We Belong to Something Beautiful' campaign, the campaign was not the result of this Tweet," Sephora told NBC News in a statement earlier this week.