Lush UK boss called out for ‘tone deaf’ move giving presents to police officers one day after George Floyd’s death

James Besanvalle
Wednesday 02 December 2020 16:16
Image:(Heather Shimmin / iStock)

One day after the tragic death of George Floyd at the hand of a police officer, the boss of Lush UK posted a photo of police officers receiving free gifts because they’re “needing a bit of love and care” at the moment.

George Floyd was killed on 25 May and then in the evening of 26 May, Lush CEO Mark Constantine posted the photo.

He captioned the post “As more folk get out and about so the police are the people needing a bit of love and care”:

In the comments, people began calling out the CEO for his “tone deaf” post:

Mark, this is tone deaf. Apologize with your wallet.

Another wrote:

This is extremely insensitive to do given the current circumstances and a terrible statement to make to the thousands of black individuals who are targeted by cops every year, many of whom work for lush. how fair is it to capitalize off of these individuals only to turn your back on them when it comes time to take a stand?

The post then made its way to Twitter, where it became a trending hashtag as more people called out the Lush UK boss:

Addressing the backlash via a Facebook post on Saturday morning, Constantine said he was “appalled” by the “horrific” death of George Floyd.

He admitted he hadn’t been following the news of the killing before posting the photo – “partly in management of my mental health and partly to maintain perspective”.

It was part of a “Random Acts of Kindness” campaign, where people “searched the empty streets for key workers who were having to keep going whilst the rest of the country were behind locked indoors” and handing them free Lush products:

I was oblivious and preoccupied when I posted that photo that news was just building of an event which would make any gift to police look like a statement rather than the simple act of giving to those struggling on with work during lockdown.

Addressing why he didn’t take the post down after it started receiving negative comments, Constantine added:

People's opinions are important especially the well-meaning and reasoned ones. It's important to listen especially if you are being weighed and being found wanting. As a direct result of the feelings on that thread we will do everything to ensure that the police don't get any more free stuff.

Read the full Facebook post:

indy100 reached out to Mark Constantine for comment.