Lowe's executive Joe McFarland is apologizing after insensitive comments he made in a corporate video were met with criticism.
McFarland, an executive vice president for Lowe's, was describing the merits of the DeWalt 12-volt cordless drill in a weekly video to store managers that he initially touted as "compact" enough to "fit anywhere."
Then things started to get problematic as McFarland said:
"Some of our Hispanic pros with smaller hands, this is perfect for them."
Noticias Telemundo shared part of the video:
Ola de repudio a tiendas "Lowes" por comentarios sobre latinos | Noticias Telemundo youtu.be
Many employees watching the video were stunned, an assistant manager told The Washington Post.
"Everybody in the room was just like, 'What? Did he just say that?'" the assistant manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "Immediately after it happened, everyone was just like 'Whoa, why would he say that?'"
News of the incident quickly went viral on Twitter, with many calling out Lowe's and McFarland for the problematic comments.
.@Lowes Executive VP, Joe McFarland's comments about Hispanics are deeply troubling & indicative of a fundamental m… https://t.co/DN4w26GxGH— Latino Victory (@Latino Victory)1566930376.0
As a proud Hispanic and once proud Lowe's employee. Shame on you #Lowes for bringing someone like this on board. No… https://t.co/wIUkOZWiIB— Chris Caraballo (@Chris Caraballo)1566946655.0
Oh FFS...🙄🙄🙄Joe McFarland, #Lowes executive vice president of stores, made this problematic comment in a video broa… https://t.co/py6VgbJADt— Leon Kaye (@Leon Kaye)1566964320.0
someone's getting fired.. An executive for hardware retailer Lowe's has apologized for saying that a compact power… https://t.co/46z6p00Nqr— Lola Netty (@Lola Netty)1566964674.0
@Lowes question. In light of recent comments by your VP which have recently surfaced, can anyone have Joe McFarlan… https://t.co/0pzCEuRnMR— Glenn Chavez (@Glenn Chavez)1566943106.0
After the Post's story dropped, McFarland issued a public apology, saying:
"I am sorry for a careless and ignorant comment I made during an associate broadcast yesterday. Our associates shared how my statement was harmful and inappropriate. This is a key reflection moment for me."
But for many the apology was too little, too late.
@Lowes Executive Joe McFarland must #Resign or be terminated. Also to note Lowe’s is firing thousands of works a… https://t.co/4Aur8iLdls— Zach Thomas 🌐 (@Zach Thomas 🌐)1566929391.0
Hey Joe McFarland, executive at @Lowes. What’s this about "Hispanic pros with smaller hands"? Apology not accepte… https://t.co/O8HEocK0Pm— Nancy Levine 🌊 (@Nancy Levine 🌊)1566930629.0
#Lowes exec. Joe McFarland's comment about "Hispanic professionals with small hands" is not surprising given compan… https://t.co/59TuMWwFMw— Sheri Ann Forbes (@Sheri Ann Forbes)1566937437.0
Thank you @Lowes I'll be taking my "small" Hispanic hands and big wallet someplace else! #MoneyTalks— Len Rivera (@Len Rivera)1566929481.0
@Lowes you are no better than Home Depot. Racist comments from another corporate “patriot” https://t.co/ygTB63c2eZ— 🌊TheRealDirtytRumphole 🌊 (@🌊TheRealDirtytRumphole 🌊)1566949170.0
Following a Wall Street Journal report from the beginning of August that Lowe's is laying off thousand of employees, one Twitter user had a suggestion for the home improvement chain.
@Lowes is in middle of laying off store employees. Maybe fire him & use McFarland’s salary & bonuses to fund sever… https://t.co/WWwgB1WNUX— SFVaughn (@SFVaughn)1566949157.0