QVC apologizes to Asian community, vows increased DEI work after ‘offensive’ email to customers

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Home shopping company QVC issued an apology to its customers — Asian female customers in particular — and vowed to work more closely with its DEI team after sending a marketing email containing “offensive” language.

“You’ll love this bag longtime,” an email subject line sent to QVC customers Friday morning said. 

Fox News Digital reviewed the email, which was advertising a handbag as the company’s “Today’s Special Value” item. 

QVC President Mike Fitzharris soon followed with an apology to customers later Friday, noting such language is “offensive,” especially to the Asian community. 

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“Earlier today, you received a marketing email for our Today’s Special Value® that used derogatory language that is offensive, particularly to the Asian community and women, in the subject line. As the president of QVC®, I am personally sending this email because I want to apologize deeply that this happened,” Fitzharris wrote. 

The email advertising the handbag and the apology were sent on International Women’s Day, billed as a global celebration of women.  

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Mike Fitzharris of QVC

The subject line is apparently in reference to the phrase “me love you longtime,” which has long been considered offensive to Asian women and carries sexual connotations. The phrase was popularized in the 1987 movie “Full Metal Jacket,” when an actress portraying a Vietnamese prostitute said the line while trying to attract American johns during the Vietnam War. 

“It’s a weaponized phrase deployed to put down Asian diaspora women, to make us the joke. It’s used to reduce Asian and Asian-American women to sex objects,” Esquire wrote in 2021 of the phrase. 

Fitzharris added that the use of the phrase by QVC “runs counter to our values and principles as an organization and is in no way reflective of our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

View of QVC's homepage

QVC is owned by Qurate Retail Group, which outlines on its website that “cultivating inclusive environments is both a human issue and a business issue.” Qurate Retail Group has won a handful of DEI-focused recognitions, including being listed “two years in a row as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” and as “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the 2022 Disability Equality Index (DEI), according to the company’s website. 

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Following the marketing email, QVC’s chief said the company will work closely with its DEI team to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

QVC apology

“We are making immediate improvements to our process so that something like this does not happen again. This will be done closely with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team to ensure we provide diverse perspectives and reviews with our language,” Fitzharris added. 

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QVC app

QVC was founded in 1986 and emerged as a premier home shopping station, selling goods from housewares to clothing to makeup. 

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Fox News Digital repeatedly reached out to the organization for additional comment about the email and apology but did not receive a reply. 

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