Tyrese Gibson Sues Home Depot for $1 Million Over Alleged Discrimination

Tyrese Gibson
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

The singer-actor is suing Home Depot for $1 million in damages, claiming he was racially profiled at one of their stores.

Tyrese Gibson is suing Home Depot after he says he was racially profiled in one of their stores.

According to court documents obtained by ET, the Fast & Furious star alleges he and craftsmen Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez "experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling first-hand" at a Home Depot store in the West Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. 

The lawsuit dates back to a February 11 incident, in which Gibson claims that Home Depot clerks allegedly "purposely interfered with and refused to process" a transaction by Gibson, Mora and Hernandez based on "their skin color" and the craftsmen's "national origin." Gibson is Black, while both Mora and Hernandez are of Mexican descent.

According to the docs, the trio was buying items for a home improvement project when they ran into an issue during the checkout process. There was a reported "glitch in the system" that required a Home Depot employee to re-scan the items.

With the checkout taking longer than expected, fans began to notice Gibson. The 44-year-old singer-actor decided to step out of the store to avoid creating a disturbance. Per the suit, Gibson informed the employee that Mora and Hernandez would complete the purchase with his credit card.

"The cashier acknowledged Gibson and said he understood," the lawsuit says. "Gibson asked the cashier if the cashier needed anything further from him to complete the transaction. The cashier said no, and that Gibson could leave."

But, per Gibson, the transaction was anything but smooth. After Gibson left, the cashier "refused to complete the transaction" with Mora and Hernandez, despite Gibson again authorizing the transaction via FaceTime video calls," the lawsuit claims. Gibson returned to the store and completed the transaction "only after a heated discussion with the cashier."

The actor also asked to speak with the store's manager, who allegedly "refused to speak with Gibson in person."  

Gibson's lawsuit alleges Home Depot violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, under which "all persons within the jurisdiction of this state ... are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever."

"This is a clear and deplorable instance of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling," the lawsuit states. "The treatment of Gibson, Mora and Hernandez by The Home Depot was humiliating and demeaning."

Gibson's lawsuit also claims the Home Depot employees "were unfit to perform the work for which they were hired," and their incompetence "harmed" the actor, Mora and Hernandez.

A representative for Home Depot tells ET in a statement, "Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form."

"We value Mr. Gibson as a customer, and in the months since this happened, we've reached out to him several times to try to resolve his concerns," the statement continued. "We will continue to do so."

Gibson, Mora and Hernandez are seeking $1 million in damages, as well as statutory damages and attorney's fees. As for the figure, the lawsuit states that the million dollars is an estimate of what the actor and "long-time customer of The Home Depot," has spent on materials at the home improvement store over the years.

Gibson spoke out about the alleged incident on Instagram Friday, re-posting a video of his February visit to the store in which he can be seen explaining the situation to some employees and asking them to clarify what their policies are. 

Alongside the quick clip, Gibson also issued a statement from his team "regarding the racial profiling and blatant [discrimination]," and also claims that there is a "joint class lawsuit [in which] they are seeking $450 million in damages."

"Craftsmen Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez are an integral part of my team and have made significant contributions to my visions for over a decade," Gibson wrote. "Together, we ardently uphold our commitments to civil rights, promoting empathy and understanding. Standing united against ... The Home Depot, we envision a world free from discriminatory practices and consumer racial profiling."

He continued, "Just as I have done for the past 20-plus years, I pledge to continue to utilize my platform to empower the voiceless, fostering a spirit of unity and hope, while illuminating our shared path forward."