Advertising executive Dennis Ramdeen yesterday apologised for a series of social media posts by his son, Sunil.
Ramdeen, who owns the Pepper advertising agency, is the latest business owner to be drawn into the “all lives matter” controversy that has been brewing locally following the death of George Floyd, a victim of police brutality in the United States.
In a Facebook post, Ramdeen said he was “deeply disappointed and saddened by the insensitive content posted by his son, a former Pepper employee, in support of #whiteoutwednesday and #alllivesmatters.
He said his son ceased to be an employee of the agency in March and now lives abroad.
“I apologise to anyone who has been impacted, including members of the public, our staff and our clients. I understand the deep hurt and the seriousness of this situation that is unfolding around us and the need to stand against systemic racism,” he said.
“I have always stood against racist or discriminatory behaviour in all aspects of my life and will continue to do so. I believe that those who have come in contact with me would know how far my son’s racist opinions are from my own. I hope that I and Pepper would be judged by our actions and not only my words. I am sorry for the hurt this has caused.”
Also making a public apology yesterday was Starlite Group Limited Managing Director Gerald Aboud, who sparked outrage with comments he made in defence of businesswoman Dianne Hunt and her “All Lives Matter” post.
The businessman posted on social media that black people had to change their mindset. He also condemned the looting and rioting the followed Floyd’s death without condemning his murder.
But yesterday, Aboud insisted that he was not racist.
“One should not judge a person by his opinion on a matter or that he sought to defend someone but by his actions,” he wrote.
“My actions over my life have shown only equality and fairness and those who know me will stand by that.”
He also pointed out that his company had done a great deal for communities across the country.
“However, no man is perfect, in my haste to defend a friend my comments were seen as aggravating and racist and for that I apologise.”