Belfast Telegraph

Zendaya: 'It's important to speak out about issues you are affected by'

Zendaya caused a social media storm when she accused an employee of grocery store chain Vons of discriminating against her because of her "skin tone" last week (ends09Sep16).

Zendaya insists it was necessary to speak out about the alleged discrimination she faced from an employee at grocery store chain Vons because it is a big issue.

The actress/singer posted a series of videos to Snapchat to rant about the service she had received in a Vons store, claiming a female employee refused to issue her gift cards because she thought Zendaya couldn't afford them, and then threw her wallet from the counter.

"So we just got out of this Vons," she explained as she walked through a parking lot. "Now I am trying to buy a lot of gift cards... There are some certain limits and some things which is understandable, OK cool, I'll take a less amount or whatever."

Continuing her rant once she's sat inside her friend's car, she added, "But the lady that was helping us... I don't think she was a huge fan of our skin tone.. In fact, I recall her not trying to help us at all, telling us we couldn't buy the gift cards and then throwing my wallet... I can't make this s**t up!.. This is what we deal with!"

The 20-year-old now explains she wanted to bring awareness to the issue because many African-American men and women are affected by it.

"It's important to raise your voice about issues you feel affected by," she tells People magazine. "It happens to African-American men and women every day."

Following the alleged incident, a representative for the grocery chain told the publication that there is a limit on how much money can be placed onto a gift card.

"At Vons, we strive to treat each and every customer with the utmost respect. There is a policy that limits gift card purchases using a credit card," a statement read. "Zendaya was able to purchase gift cards up to our limit, and we apologise for any inconvenience or misunderstanding.

"We respect Zendaya's voice in the community and similarly are committed to diversity and inclusion. Moreover, we understand that race is a sensitive issue in America and view this experience as a reminder that every interaction is an opportunity to treat each customer as we ourselves would like to be treated."

Zendaya finally managed to get her gift cards from the manager, who stepped in to help.

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