Hollywood Costume Designer Fired After Racist Rant at CVS

A Hollywood costume designer lost her job after a video went viral of her screaming racial epithets and about her desire to kill Black people at a Los Angeles CVS.

Heather Lynn Patton, who is white, was yelling the “N-word” and threatening to kill Black people in a short clip shared on social media. “I would kill a [N-word] but the law says I can’t kill the [N-word]. If the law didn’t say I couldn’t kill the [N-word] they’d all be dead,” she screamed in the video.

The person filming suggested that Patton may be on drugs, but she responded: “No, I just hate [N-word].”

The disturbing incident was reported to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on September 25, Officer Jeff Lee confirmed to The Los Angeles Times. Police said the incident occurred at a CVS Pharmacy in the 1000 block of Colorado Boulevard.

The viral video, viewed nearly 2 million times on Facebook, prompted a police investigation and earned Patton the internet nickname #KuKluxKaren, according to The Washington Post. LAPD confirmed that it was investigating the incident as a “hate incident.”

It was unclear what prompted Patton’s outburst at the CVS in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles. Witness Renée Saldaña told Buzzfeed News everyone was minding their own business inside the store when it occurred. Then Patton could be heard repeatedly yelling the N-word.

“I was like, what the hell is happening? I could only hear one voice traveling through the CVS yelling really hateful, violent things.”

Saldaña said a group of people gathered in front of the drugstore around Patton. She and Adrene Ashford, a Black costume designer also shopping at the CVS, began filming the shouting. Saldaña said she reported the incident to the LAPD.

Video of Patton yelling the obscenities prompted several celebrities who previously worked with her to comment online.

“Wow. Apparently she worked on 'Private Practice,'” Audra McDonald tweeted. “I don’t remember her but apparently if not for the law she would’ve killed me and Taye? Harsh.”

Fellow actor Patricia Arquette said Patton worked with her on the NBC series "Medium" for two seasons. According to TMZ, Arquette said that one of her friends from set told her: “This is really sad. Holy s—. Wow I’m actually shaking. This was not who she was at all… It’s like I’m watching a person that has completely come undone.”

Patton apologized for the racist rant in a statement shared in an Instagram story. She called her actions “inhumane and disgusting” and confirmed that she had lost her job because of it.

“I hope the world knows we all as human beings have all made mistakes and greatfully [sic] regretted them later in life. I as a human made the choice to say some words that I should’ve NEVER let come out of my mouth,” she wrote. “I will no longer ask for forgiveness because what I did as a human was very inhumane and disgusting. African Americans help build this very country that I am living in and I hate that I insulted the millions of them.”

She continued: “I have lost my job which I totally would agree on as well for the reason I have been let go. Please allow me to rekindle the love we shall all share amongst each other.”

TMZ reported that Patton deleted all of her posts on Instagram and changed her bio to read: “Please do not contact me. I was intoxicated and I sincerely apologize to everyone whom I disrespected and let down for my actions. Please forgive me.”

Patton has a history of disturbing outbursts, one of her neighbors claimed to KTLA. A man, who asked to only be identified as Tony, told KTLA that he is Patton’s neighbor of nine years. Tony claimed that Patton has engaged in racist and erratic behavior in the past.

“We had to file restraining orders against her and her husband for warning to… threaten us, to assault us. They were yelling racial slurs,” Tony told the news station. Tony, who is of Italian descent, added that Patton has told him and his mother to go back to their country.

Security camera footage Tony provided to KTLA shows Patton threatening to slit someone’s throat. Tony said he installed security cameras after Patton vandalized his father’s truck.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.