*Though most of the cast members on this show seem pompous as hell to me, one in particular sticks out in this story; as he obviously has no problem saying whatever comes to mind, no matter how inappropriate.
“Success” has apparently gone to the head of one Kevin O’Leary.
As it turns out the “shark” on ABC’s “Shark Tank” feels he is big, bad & bold enough to go unfiltered in his comments; as he demonstrated by calling two African American women entrepreneurs who came on the show to present their lipstick business “colorful cockroaches.”
In the event you are unaware of “Shark Tank,” it’s a reality show on ABC where entrepreneurs are allowed to come on and do a live presentation of their business idea, concept, or product, in front of successful business owners, with the possibility of being funded.
The two young women came on the show to present their lip stick business, and while much of the show is built around laughs, I don’t believe cruelty was a part of the original template.
The video (scroll down) shows season 6, episode 109 in full. But the women’s presentation begins at the 13:05 mark. O’Leary’s comment to the young women word for word was.
“If anybody thought you could sell purple or green lipstick they’d do it. They already have the shelf space; they’d just add another color and they would crush you (and he emphasized those words) like the colorful cockroaches you are.”
O’Leary also posed this ignorant question to the woman on the right: “Aren’t you afraid that if you walked into a bar with that color on your lip someone might try to resuscitate you?”
I tell you, you can dress anybody up in a suit, but at some point they are going to revert back to that pair of dirty jeans.
Kudos to these young women who remained poised and professional in spite of the being in the presence of a faux-professional; someone who was supposed to provide you advice to help you move forward…whether or not it was with his contribution.
Thanks to our friends at Naturally Moi for the heads up on this.
By now, unless this is your first go ’round reading ThisNthat, you know I don’t just say something and end it there. I come from the old school of taking action and I believe this man owes these two women a PUBLIC APOLOGY. The air date of the show was February 6, 2015 and I am surprised hell wasn’t raised on the internet about the issue. But hey, I could be wrong. And I commend Naturally Moi for writing about it.
Now its your turn readers. The quickest way to get your feelings known is by going to this site and filling out the short form that allows you to speak your mind. Something of this magnitude is usually forwarded to the legal department, so don’t think your words won’t be taken seriously. I am sure if they get enough comments and enough people write in (and if you watch the video and agree with what was said in this article, you should) an apology will be issued.
We understand how business works, it’s being unprofessional – especially on a show with such a wide platform – that we have problems with. And for their sake, I hope they don’t attempt to pull the you’re being “oversensitive” card. When it comes to something like this, we know the difference.
There was no reason at all for O’Leary to refer to these two women using that term. Period. In my opinion, it was outright racist and irresponsible!
And shame on ABC if he was not reprimanded.
Readers: Hit them where it hurts. Make your feelings known today!