LulaRoe Sides With Top Seller Who Mocked People With Disabilities
Clothing company LulaRoe has landed in hot water yet again! The multi-level marketing direct sales business has had quite the controversial year. First, the brand was called out for what many said was poor quality merchandise. Then, they screwed over consultants with a swift change to their inventory return policy. But this latest controversy might be the most egregious to date. Last week, one of the company’s top-selling consultants posted an insulting and offensive video in which he mocked people with disabilities. Rather than denounce the consultant and try to repair the damage done by his insensitive remarks, LulaRoe owners Mark and DeeAnn Stidham decided to put their support behind the man because his apology was “sincere”. Spoiler alert! It wasn’t.
Robert “Bobby” Budenbender is rumored to be a top 5 LulaRoe vendor. So he definitely brings in plenty of cash for the Stidhams. And apparently, that means he gets their support when all he deserves is their condemnation.
Budenbender uploaded a video during a live sales event for the company. At one point, he fumbles over something, and can be heard saying, “Hi, my name is Robert, and I’m special!” in an exaggerated accent. He also contorts his face to appear “special”, whatever the fuck that means. The video quickly unleashed a firestorm and he deleted it, but not before it was uploaded to YouTube.
Once Budenbender realized this wasn’t going to blow over, he posted another video, this time of a half-assed apology. He even included his wife’s sister in the video, who has Down Syndrome.
Nice touch, Bobby. Telling people you’re OK with mocking people with disabilities even though you have a disable person your family doesn’t make it better, asshat.
You’d think this would be a no-brainer for LulaRoe, right? Especially considering they claim to be supporters of the National Down Syndrome Society, and have a granddaughter with Down Syndrome. In fact, the Stidhams had previously pledged to donate $1 of every sale of a dress named after their granddaughter to NDSS. But NDSS was not here for that bullshit apology. They posted a scathing take-down of the company on their Facebook page, and said they would be ceasing any and all partnerships and programming with LulaRoe.
But Mark and DeeAnn seemed determined to double-down on their support of the jerk who started this whole thing.
Sounds to me like they weighed their support and partnership with a wonderful organization against their bottom line, and chose to side with the one who brought them the most return on their investment.
LulaRoe is a problematic organization for A LOT of reasons. But if you choose to continue to give your money to these people, maybe it’s time to reconsider. Those leggings really aren’t that great, people.
(Image: YouTube/J S)