California-based tech giant, Apple, has publicly apologized after one of its employees at an Australian store asked a group of boys to leave, in what they claim was a racist incident.
Reports emerged in the country earlier this week after one of the boys uploaded a video of the incident to his Facebook account. The video, which had been viewed nearly 200,000 times by Friday evening, Australian time, shows an Apple employee trying to evict the boys - who are all black - from a retail outlet at Melbourne's Highpoint shopping center.
Standing next to men who appear to be security guards, the employee says: "These guys are just a little worried about your presence in our store...they are just worried you might steal something."
"I need to ask you to leave our store," he continues.
Australian media reported that the store's manager apologized personally to the boys at a later stage and Apple also issued a public apology, following an outcry on social media.
A spokesperson for Apple told CNBC that inclusion and diversity were among the company's core values.
"We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions," Apple said in a statement emailed to CNBC.
"We've looked into the details of the situation and we apologize to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be."
One of the boys, Mohamed Semra, said he would "never forget" the incident.
"Racial profiling has to stop due to (it) being a big problem in society and other people most of time are not as lucky as we were and get it on video," he said on Friday on Facebook.