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Backlash against Auburn Hills boutique over email mixup calling applicant 'not that cute'

Posted at 5:43 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 05:43:36-04

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A job application response is getting an Auburn Hills boutique a lot of backlash. The applicant took to social media when the company's VP sent her an email that was intended for his wife and business partner. That email is going viral.

The woman, named Gracie, applied for a job at Ava Lane Boutique in Auburn Hills. Now, the company said it's temporarily pausing its social media accounts because of the backlash.

It all center around the email, where the VP appears more focused on Gracie's appearance than her job qualifications.

"I applied for this job as a brand representative to a company called Ava Lane and their motto is beauty through confidence, and this is an email I accidentally got sent from the VP, enjoy," the viral TikTok said.

The email reads that Gracie is "fresh out of college" and "not that cute."

Chuck Degrendel, the VP, said the email was unprofessional and not in line went his company's core values. The couple went on Facebook Live after the TikTok started going viral.

'I understand what I said was very hurtful. I don't know why I said that, but I did. I'm very very sorry for saying that," Degrendel said in the video.

Thousands of people have seen the video and are now calling out Ava Lane, even after the apology.

One woman wrote, "do you have a daughter? How would you feel if she told you a company didn't hire her because she's 'not that cute?'"

Brittany asked if they would have even apologized if it didn't go viral.

"Of course we can learn from this, we can also learn from the power of social media," Lauren Degrendel, Chuck's wife, said.

In the Facebook video, Chuck also said he apologized directly to the applicant. The couple said in addition to the backlash they're receiving from the email, their family and employees have also been targeted.

"Our phone numbers are out there, our address is out there, our children have been threatened," Chuck said.

On the company's Facebook page, which is now private, Chuck said he has decided to remove himself from the hiring process at Ava Lane and all future hires will be handled by an HR represenative.