Tyrese Gibson faced a dilemma when considering suing The Home Depot for $1 million over what he claims was a racial discrimination incident. The popular DIY home improvement store had been a place of comfort and safety for him.
On the day of a reported incident with The Home Depot employees, Gibson was accompanied by his long-time construction colleagues, Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez. Gibson said he was reportedly discriminated against by a manager and cashier who refused to serve him on Feb. 11 at a West Hills, California, location.
How The Dispute Happened
The dispute centered around Gibson’s American Express credit card.
While trying to pay for supplies, the famous actor allegedly received unwanted attention and had to retreat to his car, leaving his card with two associates to complete the purchase. According to the lawsuit, the cashier was taking an extremely long time to scan the items, and Gibson thought it was best to leave as other shoppers kept coming up to him.
He said before departing that he requested that the cashier authorize his colleagues to use his card.
However, when the associates, both of whom are Hispanic, were prevented from using the card, Gibson attempted to authorize the transaction through a FaceTime call with the cashier. Despite his efforts, the cashier refused to accept his approval, leading him to return to the store, The Guardian reported. Gibson returned to the store, and a heated argument between him and the cashier ensued. The encounter was captured on video.
The store manager, meanwhile, refused to speak with Gibson even though Gibson requested to do so, according to the lawsuit.
Gibson, as stated in his $1 million lawsuit, said that he suffered a “humiliating and demeaning” encounter as well as a “clear and deplorable instance of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
Gibson, who also has a home in the Atlanta area, revealed that he is neighbors with the CEO of The Home Depot, whose company headquarters are located in Cobb County, Georgia. He threatened to report the cashier to the company’s CEO.
Gibson and his two associates filed a complaint against The Home Depot in a state courthouse in Los Angeles.
“Craftsmen Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez are an integral part of my team and have made significant contributions to my visions for over a decade. Together, we ardently uphold our commitments to civil rights, promoting empathy, and understanding,” Gibson told NBC News.
“Standing united against organizations like The Home Depot, we envision a world free from discriminatory practices and consumer racial profiling,” he continued. “Just as I have done for the past 20-plus years, I pledge to continue to utilize my platform to empower the voiceless, fostering a spirit of unity and hope, while illuminating our shared path forward.”
“There is no other plausible explanation for the mistreatment of plaintiffs,” the lawsuit says. “The transaction was refused, despite Gibson’s repeated authorizations, because of plaintiffs’ skin color and, in the case of Mora and Hernandez, also because of their national origin.”
What Gibson Says
In an interview with TMZ, Gibson said the lawsuit he filed on Aug. 9 was troubling him because The Home Depot was his “Disneyland.”
“I really struggle with even filing the lawsuit because The Home Depot has literally been my favorite … it is like my Disneyland,” the actor said. “This might sound crazy, but I’ve probably spent a minimum of $8 million to $10 million at Home Depot for the past 20 years.”
What The Home Depot Says
A Home Depot spokesperson told NBC News: “Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form,” said Beth Marlowe. “We value Mr. Gibson as a customer, and in the months since this happened, we’ve reached out to him and his attorneys several times to try to resolve his concerns. We will continue to do so.”
Gibson’s Fame and Fortune
Gibson, who has an estimated net worth of $15 million, played a prominent role in the latest installment of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, called “Fast X.”