A New Jersey man is suing his former employer, Benjamin Moore, over the names of some of their products that he believes are racist.
Clinton Tucker’s suit claims that two of the brown paint tones the company produces are discriminatory and that he was fired after repeatedly complaining about Tucker Chocolate and Clinton Brown to the management.
“Despite [Tucker’s] repeated complaints and protestations to BM management about these appallingly racial color names, no action was ever taken by Benjamin Moore to change the names of these colors,” the suit reads.
Tucker alleges that one of the colors was from the company’s Williamsburg Collection, which he says he helped to market.
According to MailOnline, the colors are still on Benjamin Moore’s website, one of which they say has origins from Colonial Williamsburg.
The description reads: “Capturing the 1798 color requested by St. George Tucker for his home facing Courthouse Green, this deep brown is classic and understated.”
Tucker’s suit says that regardless of where the colors originated from, “being a black man named Clinton Tucker, the plaintiff found this [color name] to be racially offensive.”
It also claims that “when this was mentioned at a meeting with at least eight people including his supervisor, this was met with awkward silence.”
Tucker claims that this incident was a part of a culture of racial insensitivity and outright aversion within the company.
“In addition, BM has a color called Clinton Brown,” the suit reads. “A BM employee pointed this out to the plaintiff and thought it was funny.”
In addition to the allegations of the brown tones being racist, Tucker claims the Benjamin Moore color called Confederate Red is “offensively described by Benjamin [Moore] as a “timeless and enduring classic.”
Tucker is suing because he believes that he was denied opportunities to advance because of his race alone, “despite spending countless hours in the office” and that his “two white, blonde-haired and blue-eyes subordinates” still remain at the company after he was terminated.
He seeks damages for discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment because of his alleged treatment.