Multi-level marketing company LuLaRoe (LLR) finds themselves in a rather interesting public relations nightmare. The MLM company previously had a partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
The partnership began because LLR’s founder, DeAnne Stidham, has a granddaughter named Scarlett with Down Syndrome.
Over the weekend, social media erupted over a consultant who mocked those with special needs:
The consultant, Robert Budenbender, and his wife, Taya, quickly decided to apologize. The kicker? The couple brought in the wife’s sister, who has Down Syndrome, to PROVE that he’s not against those with special needs.
Word began to spread across the LuLaRoe market, amongst retailers and customers alike. Many called for LLR to cancel the consultant’s contract because of what happened.
The NDSS quickly decided to sever all ties with LuLaRoe. They posted the following statement on their Facebook page:
Even though NDSS made the statement THREE HOURS before LuLaRoe did, LLR tried to SPIN the relationship ending.
Of course, consumers, ex-consultants and current consultants shared their beliefs across all social media platforms.
Totally learned his lesson. Grrr pic.twitter.com/Lgjr9khAB7
— Christy (@LLRChristyP) January 28, 2018
Apparently the couple received backlash or as they refer to them, “haters.”
@LuLaRoe glad my wife left this horrible company when she did. You people should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves! I cannot believe you decided to stand with a bully rather than with your granddaughter. SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!!
— Jeremey Cheser (@bigcheese820) January 28, 2018
Jeremey has a point.
Shame on @Lularoe for choosing money over people. Shame on them for trying to tear down an amazing organization. Props to the @NDSS #nationaldownsyndromesociety for choosing people over money. #istandwithNDSS #extrachromosomesFTW #standuptobullying #lulano
— christina m (@87Freckles) January 28, 2018
It’s sad that this is what a partnership came down to.
#LuLaRoe needs to fire that consultant! Cant believe they will stand behind someone who discriminates people with disabilities! ?
— QUEEN B (@GingaSnappz) January 28, 2018
It has been suggested that LuLaRoe refused to end the consultant’s contract because they are one of the company’s top sellers.
— Shawna anderson (@Shawnaa18122815) January 27, 2018
The timestamps on Facebook prove who ended what.
I'm so happy I left LuLaRoe when I did. I can't even believe this NDSS situation! They'll support one retailer who F'd up and disrespect the ENTIRE special needs community and their granddaughter Scarlett! Wow just wow! #disgraceful #lularoeshouldbeashamed
— MombieMode (@AngelaNToth) January 28, 2018
It’s really quite sad.
Don’t know why, but I’m just now seeing the video of the @LuLaRoe ass clown making fun of special needs people….you’re a lousy piece of trash and I will immediately throw away any @LuLaRoe clothing I have. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
— Jεη (@AngelsFall_804) January 28, 2018
Will you have a burn pile?
My wife buys LulaRoe and when I showed her this, she said, “well, they have thousands of retailers, that’s just one person.” Needless to say, I’m really not happy about her attitude towards this. I’m a special needs teacher and I’m livid that they sided w the retailer.
— Paul Wulff (@TheMrWulff12) January 28, 2018
Bet that conversation was awkward.
Some are even going as far as saying calling the company #LuLaNoNo.
Now the question becomes….whose side are you on?