Vons supermarket has apologized for “any inconvenience or misunderstanding” after former Disney star Zendaya claimed she was refused service at one of the store’s locations due to her “skin tone.”
In a series of videos posted to her personal Snapchat account, Zendaya claimed that the store clerk was rude to her when she attempted to purchase $400 worth of gift cards.
“So we just got out of this Vons,” Zendaya said. “Now I am trying to buy a lot of gift cards… There are certain limits and some things, which is understandable. But the lady that was helping us, I don’t think she was a fan of our skin tone.”
The Spiderman: Homecoming star continued: “In fact I recall her not trying to help us at all, saying she couldn’t help us all, saying that we couldn’t buy the gift cards, and throwing my wallet.”
“I just can’t make this s–t up,” she said, before adding, “This is what we deal with.”
Responding to the alleged incident, a rep for Vons told People: “At Vons, we strive to treat each and every customer with the utmost respect. There is a policy that limits gift card purchases using a credit card. Zendaya was able to purchase gift cards up to our limit, and we apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding.”
“We respect Zendaya’s voice in the community and similarly are committed to diversity and inclusion,” the statement continued. “Moreover, we understand that race is a sensitive issue in America and view this experience as a reminder that every interaction is an opportunity to treat each customer as we ourselves would like to be treated.”
The 20-year-old actress is no stranger to racially-charged controversy.
Zendaya’s casting as Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming Spiderman film spurred backlash from comic book fans upset that the traditionally Caucasian character might be played by an African-American actress.
Iconic comic book writer and Spider-Man creator Stan Lee defended Zendaya’s casting, telling the Toronto Sun: “If she is as good an actress as I hear she is, I think it’ll be absolutely wonderful.”
During last year’s Academy Awards, E! Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic poked fun at the actress’ dreadlocked hair, joking that it must smell of “weed” and “patchouli oil.”
Zendaya later ripped Rancic over the remark on Instagram, telling the host that she wore her hair in dreadlocks “to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”