Estee Lauder Senior Executive John Demsey was forced to resign due to allegations of racism over a meme he posted to Instagram. Demsey was with the company for 31 years and he was making about $10 million per year. The meme featured Big Bird wearing a mask standing next to Snuffleupagus who appears to be sick in bed. The caption on the picture says “My n**** Snuffy done got the ‘rona at a Chingy concert”. Demsey has apologized for the meme stating that he did not read it before he posted it. He also says this does not in any way represent who he is. All of this could have been avoided if Demsey took a few basic steps to protect his livelihood.
There is no real reason why John Demsey needs an Instagram account at all. He is not a very well-known, front-facing celebrity like a musician or an athlete. If a person sat next to John Demsey on an airplane, they may not know who he is at all. The risk of having social media and posting memes on it should be a risk that multi-millionaires refuse to take… unless they have to. John Demsey did not have to. The meme was most likely intended to be a text message to friends and not a public IG post. A simple mistake. But that mistake has cost him 31 years and $10 million per year.
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