Victoria's Secret is touting its commitment to safety, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion following an altercation at a store in Millburn, New Jersey.
In videos, which went viral, taken by a store patron who identifies herself as Ijeoma Ukenta, a fellow customer who is white can be seen charging at Ukenta. The alleged attacker, who has been labeled as the "Victoria's Secret Karen," breaks down into tears and pretends to pass out. Throughout the videos, Ukenta, who is Black, claims the woman tried to hit her.
In one video, Ukenta says that in a police report, the woman acknowledges her behavior was wrong, but notes that she does not want to be professionally or socially shunned. She claims she had a panic attack after realizing she was being recorded.
The videos and “Victoria’s Secret Karen” were trending on Twitter on Tuesday morning, prompting a response from the retailer.
Victoria’s Secret tweeted a statement shortly after noon on Tuesday, explaining that safety is its “top priority” for customers and staffers. The chain called the videos “unsettling” and said it has initiated a full investigation.
“We are dedicated to continuing this critical conversation and demonstrating our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through our actions and our words,” Victoria’s Secret’s statement said.
Associate and Customer safety is our top priority, and we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. pic.twitter.com/vREtLvC2o0— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) July 13, 2021
Ukenta has filed a complaint against the police officers who responded to the incident, as well as mall security, because she didn’t feel protected, according to one video. She said that she “doesn’t really have any issues with [Victoria’s Secret staffers].”
“Now, if they give us problems getting the video, then we’ll talk about that,” she said. “That’ll be another story.”