Alas, it looks like New York City's Amy Cooper, who called the police on a black Harvard-educated bird watcher in Central Park back in May, might be upstaged by San Francisco skincare CEO Lisa Alexander after she was filmed criticizing a local man for writing "Black Lives Matter" outside his home.
In the day-and-age of smartphones and social media platforms, scenes of Karen-ness are on full display. One of the more recent episodes of the meme-able conduct? The CEO of the luxury skincare line LAFACE accusing a Pacific Heights man of vandalizing... his own property.
A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
According to KRON4, James Juanillo, a "proud Filipino," was writing "Black Lives Matter" in yellow chalk on a gunmetal gray retaining wall at the home he's lived in since 2002 when Alexander began accusing him of defacing someone else's property — with wash away calcium carbonate, mind you. During the filmed confrontation, Alexander is heard threatening to call the police on Juanillo: "[I would] be more than happy to talk to them," he retorted.
When did chalk art become “defacing” property? Cause then I got some kindergarteners outside committing all kinds of crime right now that Karen can heroically bust!— Jaimetoons (@jaimetoons) June 13, 2020
Lisa — who was not wearing a face-covering during the entire ordeal, ignoring one of the City’s foremost social-distancing policies — continues to scold Juanillo in the video for "expressing his beliefs" in a way that's not respectful of the renter or homeowner, saying she knows the folks that live there.
Which, again, would include him.
Juanillo later told the media company Storyful that when police came, on-site officers recognized him immediately as a resident of the house; they never left their patrol car nor even bothered to ask for his ID.
Robert, her apparent partner according to individuals on Nextdoor, was seen filming from a distance and siding with Lisa as she proceeded to accuse Juanillo of criminal conduct.
Per SFGate, LAFACE is an independent skincare line described as an "anti-aging luxury natural and organic VEGAN skincare line [that] is extremely effective for all skin types"; Alexander has since been removed from the company and all mention of her name is no longer found on the website.
In response to the CEO's actions, the monthly subscription makeup mogul Birchbox formally cut ties with LAFACE over the weekend, saying in a tweet "we condemn the actions of Lisa Alexander" and explained that they "have not worked with LAFACE for several years," adding "we've removed their products from [Birchbox's] website."
We condemn the actions of Lisa Alexander. We have not worked with LAFACE for several years & as a result of the CEO’s actions today have officially cut ties with them. We’ve removed their products from our website & will not be working with them in the future. #blacklivesmatter— Birchbox (@BirchboxUK) June 13, 2020
In the clip's waning seconds, Juanillo can be heard saying "and that, people, is why black lives matter" as Karen leaves to call police. And with New York state lawmakers, including Governor Cuomo, pushing to pass the “Amy Cooper bill” against false 911 accusations, is California next in line for a Karen-inspired piece of legislation?
The now-viral video's amassed north of 12 million views since it was posted on June 11 at 9:13 a.m. on Twitter.
Update: Alexander has issued an apology, saying she would love to have coffee with Juanillo and work on continuing to "learn and grow and be a better person."
"I want to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo. There are not enough words to describe how truly sorry I am for being disrespectful to him last Tuesday when I made the decision to question him about what he was doing in front of his home,” she writes. “I should have minded my own business. The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities.”
“When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that. I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and have learned a painful lesson. I am taking a hard look at the meaning behind white privilege and am committed to growing from this experience."
Image: Twitter via @jaimetoons