The CEO of San Francisco-based skincare company LAFACE is apologizing after a viral video caught her scolding a man for stenciling “Black Lives Matter” on his own property, according to reports.
Lisa Alexander apologized to James Juanillo in a statement Sunday, saying in part, “The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities. When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that.”
She said she was committed to learn from the experience and wants to apologize to Juanillo in person.
In the video, which has been retweeted 155,000 times, Alexander asked Juanillo if he was “defacing private property.”
Juanillo clapped back, “If I did live here, and this was my property, this would be absolutely fine? And, you don’t know if I live here, if this is my property?”
James Juanillo posing outside of his home in San Francisco on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
He later said about Alexander, “What she did is polite racism. It’s respectable racism. ‘Respectfully, sir, I don’t think you belong here.'”
Juanillo, who is Filipino, told KGO-TV he believed the woman and her husband accused him of defacing private property because they didn’t think he belonged in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood.
He said a police officer pulled up several minutes after the encounter and drove away after recognizing Juanillo as a longtime resident.
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Brad Gilbertson, one of the owners of the property, took Juanillo’s side.
The CEO of a cosmetic company issued an apology Sunday after she and her husband confronted Juanillo and threatened to call police because he stenciled “Black Lives Matter” in chalk on his San Francisco property. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
“She just claimed she knew the owner of the house. She doesn’t know me. I thought she was out of line,” he said.
Juanillo said Sunday that he would be open to talking with Alexander. He said in the last several days neighbors have left flowers and notes expressing support, with many adding chalk art to the retaining wall and sidewalk.
“For me this experience has left me feeling vindicated and validated. I imagine that she regrets those couple of minutes,” he said. “Do I believe that her life should be destroyed over this? No. I just hope that she realizes that what she did was racist and she can improve from this incident.”
Makeup subscription service Birchbox dropped Alexander’s company after the incident went viral.
“We have not worked with LAFACE for several years and, as a result of the CEO’s actions today, have officially cut ties with them,” the statement read in part.