Estée Lauder’s John Demsey apologises for ‘racist’ Instagram post

By Becky Bargh 28-Feb-2022

Days after he was suspended from his role as Group President of the American multinational, the MAC veteran apologised for his ‘horrible mistake’

Disgraced Estée Lauder employee John Demsey has publicly apologised to fans for posting a picture on social media containing the n-word.

In the post, Demsey – who has been with the American company for more than three decades – said that he was “deeply ashamed” for hurting so many people, and that it was a “horrible mistake”.

“Not only did I hurt many people whom I respect, the terrible mistake that I made has undermined everything I have been working for since I began my career 31 years ago,” he added.

“I am so sorry that I let down the company that I have dedicated my life’s work to as well as its employees, artists, friends and colleagues.”

During his 31 years with the business, Demsey has worked on Estée Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics and Clinique.

As of the weekend, the 65-year-old, has removed the caption of his Instagram handle, which previously stated his role at Estée Lauder Companies.

Swift action was taken by Demsey’s superiors after the post attracted unwanted attention online.

An internal memo, written by CEO Fabrizio Freda and obtained by the Wall Street Journal, said: “Effective immediately, John Demsey is being placed on unpaid leave due to content posted on his Instagram handle.

“The content does not represent the values of The Estée Lauder Companies.”

In the days after the post was deleted, Demsey was still receiving backlash online.

Many called him a “racist” and said that he should be held accountable for his actions.

Celebrities and beauty founders, meanwhile, have shown their support for Demsey online.

In the comments below his apology, Joanna Czech, skin care founder and esthetician, said that she was Demsey’s “biggest supporter and fan”.

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Author and CoverGirl ambassador Maye Musk encouraged Demsey to continue posting: “Please continue with your hilarious posts”, while an outpouring of support also came from journalist Alina Cho and founder of hair care brand R+Co, Thom Priano.