Estee Lauder executive John Demsey has been suspended by the cosmetics juggernaut for an Instagram post that contained a racial slur, the Wall Street Journal reports,
The Instagram post, which has since been removed from Demsey’s personal account, depicted the TV show Sesame Street, a joke about COVID-19, named the rapper Chingy, and mentioned the N-word.
“Effective immediately, John Demsey is being placed on unpaid leave due to content posted on his Instagram handle,” Chief Executive Fabrizio Freda and Chairman William Lauder said in an internal memo to company leaders Tuesday.
“The content posted does not represent the values of The Estée Lauder Companies,” the memo continued. “As a company deeply committed to inclusive actions and behavior, and in line with our company policies, our employees and our leadership are accountable for upholding these values.”
A 30-year veteran of Estee Lauder, Demsey has given leadership to MAC for decades from its beginnings as an upstart to one of the most well-known names in the beauty industry. Reportedly, he earned over $9.6 million in total compensation in the year ended June 30.
He was instrumental in partnering with Black women as MAC ambassadors or collaborators such as RuPaul, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, and Saweetie.