A Massachusetts hair stylist has been fired for refusing to cut a child’s hair because the child is Black.
The incident occurred at a Supercuts location in the Boston suburb of Westboro.
The mother of the child, Damalyn Ellslager-Matthews, talked to CBS Boston about the heartbreaking experience of her and her husband, who is Black, having to explain racism to their young children far earlier than they anticipated.
You can see the interview here.
Ellslager-Matthews, who is White, had gone to the Supercuts with her three small children, ages 7, 5 and 2, and her 21-year-old niece, who is also White, to get her 7-year-old daughter Amialyn’s hair trimmed.
According to CBS Boston, the family was told:
“We don’t cut Black people hair.”
Speaking to CBS Boston, the family described the incident.
“Now this lady told her, ‘you should have told us you were Black when you made the appointment. [Amialyn] is so naive she says, ‘Well I’m not Black, my skin’s brown can you trim my hair anyways?’”
Amialyn also spoke to CBS Boston about how the incident made her feel.
“She made fun of my color of my skin and I hate when people do that.”
Ellslager-Matthews was left angered by the experience.
“For the first time I had to explain to my daughter that there are some people that have a problem with you just because you’re tanner than everybody else… I was hoping to keep them innocent for a little while longer, because they’re still small.”
After Ellslager-Matthews posted on Facebook about the incident, the Supercuts franchise’s owner responded.
“Racism, ignorance, and prejudice are not tolerated or allowed in our company.”
The owner also confirmed that the stylist was fired.
On Twitter, people were outraged by the incident.
Look at that beautiful face. What kind of monster…?
— Sen. Kamala Harris for VP (@FancyPants30) July 9, 2020
This Disgusting, #Racist Filth is happening Every day, all across America.
I'd never seen this before in my life.
Didnt know racist POS like this even existed anymore. Not like this.
This is what #Trump& his #whitesupremists have unleashed in OUR America.https://t.co/eivS2gzQgq
— CRD (@BBWriterCRD) July 9, 2020
— Savagettarius 🌊 (@Savagettarius) July 9, 2020
Are you noticing
That hardly ANY companies now try to defend racist staff behavior?
(Well, except maybe Starbux)
Tide is turning.
Stylist fired for refusing to cut Black girl’s hair: ‘She made fun of the color of my skin’ | Raw Story https://t.co/T4KMG46m5p via rawstory
— K Dawn 🌈 Resist🌊Stronger Together🌊We Are Many (@KDawn___) July 9, 2020
Another racist fired in Westboro, Mass. We don't have her name or pic, but she worked at Supercuts & when a family came in, she said, You should have told us when you made the appt that you were black. https://t.co/VuJzFI9IUx
— Shirley Little (@ShirleyLittle51) July 9, 2020
Deserved to be fired. https://t.co/5uVm1gtFup
— Robbin ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 🧶 (@RaeMargaret61) July 9, 2020
And they wonder why people are still in the street. https://t.co/0JSmPs4MmT
— Stark Raven Mad (@Ravenwild9) July 9, 2020
Good riddance. Get rid of these bad people. They're criminals. They shouldn't be allowed to be near children.
— Archimedes (@archimedes5555) July 8, 2020
Good, we don't need people like her in MA or in the US
— Malcolm McD (@Malcolm_McD) July 7, 2020
Seriously WTF is wrong with people today! 🤬 https://t.co/8hD85Ppapz
— Elizabeth ♡ (@Fuze83) July 7, 2020
Ellslager-Matthews told CBS Boston that despite the actions the owner of the Supercuts took, she and her family will not be returning to the location. While the stylist was fired, her children will still associate the place with what happened there.