Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer is being accused of discriminating against white men following a CNN interview where she discussed the importance of workforce diversity.
Brewer was asked by the interviewer how she promotes diversity within her company.
"It has to start with top leadership," Brewer said. "My executive team is very diverse and I make that a priority. I demand it within my team."
She said she mentors women inside and outside of her company, as well, and also encourages Sam's Club's partners to hire a more diverse workforce.
Now here's the comment that ignited the uproar. Brewer said:
Just today we met with a supplier and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier's] folks in the room because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him.
Critics are claiming that Brewer's remarks are evidence that she advocates against employing and hiring white men — even though four of the eight people on her executive team are white men. Some customers are now accusing Brewer of being "racist" toward white men and are threatening to boycott Sam's Club.
The interview has since been shared widely by right-wing sites, including RedState, BizPac Review, and TeaParty.org, prompting some customers to criticize the company online.
"As a white male I'm deeply offended by the remarks of your employee," one person wrote on Sam's Club's Facebook page. "We will not be patronizing Sam's Club until this is corrected."
"Racism is alive and well in America," another user wrote. "I will never spend a dime in a Sam's club!"
A third wrote: "This is so wrong she needs to be fired ASAP."
Walmart is standing behind Brewer's remarks.
"For years, we've asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said. "Roz was simply trying to reiterate that we believe diverse and inclusive teams make for a stronger business. That's all there is to it and I support that important ideal."
Some critics reacted to Brewer's remarks on Twitter:
@michelekirkBPR RT. See how SAM's Club CEO discrimates against white males. Time to say good-bye!— Carol Foster (@CarolFoster13) December 13, 2015
Others showed support for Brewer:
How is wanting to see a more DIVERSE cultural w/ equal opportunity racist?? Her words are being misconstrued! #RosalindBrewer— Nina Bonita (@AmbitiousSis27) December 14, 2015
Absolutely NOTHING racist about Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer's statement on diversity. Nothing! An anemic attempt to turn things around.— Dhealthstore.com (@Dhealthstore) December 14, 2015
Here's a video of her interview:
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