American actor, Tyrese Gibson has claimed he was the victim of racial discrimination and profiling during a February 11 visit to West Hills, California Home Depot location in a $1 million lawsuit.
The Fast & Furious actor, 44, filed legal documents in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday claiming that he and two construction workers he had working for him had their civil rights violated in an incident at the store.
The two workers Gibson had working for him, Eric Mora and Manual Hernandez, are also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Fox11 reported, citing court docs.
The Watts, Los Angeles native also claims the company violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act; and had been negligent in its hiring, supervision and retention of employees in the lawsuit, in which he’s also seeking punitive damages.
Gibson in the legal filing that the $1 million was for compensatory damages, based on how much he estimates he has spent at the home improvement store over the years.
Gibson’s lawyers said the entertainer ‘experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling first-hand inside the Home Depot retail store in West Hills.’
It continued: ‘The company needs to understand that there are consequences for discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.’
Gibson’s legal team said he and the plaintiffs remain ‘committed to doing their part to advance civil rights and put an end to the despicable practice of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling at the Home Depot, and, by extension, all retail stores.’
In the suit Gibson said that he did not want to attract attention and went to his vehicle, having his two workers pay with his credit card for the purchase.
He said that the cashier refused to put through the transaction and ‘gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating store policy and [demanding] to see a form of identification.’
Gibson said that the transaction was finally put through following an argument with the cashier, and that the manager would not speak with him.
He said in court docs that ‘there is no other plausible explanation for the mistreatment of plaintiffs’ besides racial discrimination.
In the suit, Gibson’s lawyers said that the employees involved in the incident ‘purposely interfered with and refused to process the transaction based on their groundless suspicion of Gibson, Mora and Hernandez arising from their skin color, and in the case of Mora and Hernandez, their national origin.’
In a viral video of the altercation, Gibson was seen in a tense discussion with staffers at the home improvement retailer.
‘You’re being a racist – and that’s the truth,’ Gibson told a woman in the clip. ‘And you’ve got that racist energy all over you because you’re not even willing to apologize, fix it, and point out the inconsistencies of … what the policies are.’
Gibson’s team said in legal docs reviewed by People that Home Depot had ‘refused to take any responsibility’ over the incident, and instead, they had ‘doubled down, lawyered-up, and treated Gibson, Mora, and Hernandez and what happened to them as not worthy of any due consideration – instead inferring that they are the problem.’
A rep for Home Depot told People in a statement, ‘Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
‘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.’