High-profile real estate agent is SACKED and ‘seeks legal advice’ after posting a ‘racist’ comment about gym equipment on Facebook – but was his question fair enough?
- High-flying Melbourne real estate agent sacked after posting ‘racist’ comment
- Matthew Scafidi questioned if piece of gym equipment had been made in China
- Agent said he wanted to ‘avoid’ Chinese products if he could, sparking outrage
- Mr Scafidi has been stood down from his role at Jellis Craig Agency in Mitcham
- Do you know more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Melbourne real estate agent has been given the sack after a ‘racist’ comment he posted online sparked public outcry.
Matthew Scafidi has been permanently stood down from his position as franchisee director of real estate agency Jellis Craig in the inner-city suburb Mitcham.
The self-confessed ‘home gym enthusiast’ questioned the origins of a piece of workout equipment in a post to his personal Facebook page on Monday.
‘No Australia Made logo on this one, can I assume on this and price that it’s a Chinese import? Wanting to avoid Chinese imports if I can,’ he asked.
Matthew Scafidi (pictured) has been permanently stood down from his position as franchisee director of real estate agency Jellis Craig in inner-city suburb Mitcham
The real estate expert said he wanted to avoid Chinese made products if he could, in relation to a piece of home gym equipment (pictured, the agent’s Facebook post)
The since-deleted post quickly caused a stir on social media with other Facebook users claiming Mr Scafidi’s sentiments were ‘racist’.
One woman re-uploaded a screenshot of the offending post and claimed the real estate agent was making the following points.
‘1. Chinese imports are cheap and shoddy and 2. People with Chinese origins are not part of Australian community,’ she wrote.
‘It is disturbing to see this comment from an individual like Matthew who runs business in Mitcham where the three largest ancestries in 2016 were English, Australian and Chinese.’
Several members of the wider community also took offence to the post and expressed their grievances in the Google reviews for Jellis Craig.
Mr Scafidi’s (right) comment quickly sparked outrage on Facebook and the wider community
Several members of the wider community also took offence to the ‘racist’ post and expressed their grievances in google reviews for Jellis Craig (pictured)
A social media user superimposed a photo of Mr Scafadi on top of the original post (pictured)
The real estate agency has a Google rating of 1.2 out of five stars.
‘What he did was unprofessional,’ one user wrote.
‘Matthew Scafidi, since you don’t want any Chinese products, why don’t you avoid any Chinese clients,’ another commented.
Mr Scafidi’s profile no longer exists on the Jellis Craig website despite the link still existing in the real estate agent’s Instagram biography.
His profile on Realestate.com.au has likewise been deleted.
A source with intimate knowledge of the real estate industry in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs questioned the motivation behind the decision to sack Mr Scafidi.
‘Would there be an outcry if you took out the word Chinese and inserted American? It appears to me that all he’s saying is he’d rather buy Australian.’
Mr Scafidi has been a highly regarded member of the community in the area for more than a decade where he has built a small real estate empire.
In 2017, he was awarded the Real Estate Institute Of Victoria Residential Salesperson Of The Year.
Mr Scafidi has given thousands of dollars to local community projects including Mitcham’s football and cricket clubs.
With the help of his wife Tanya, the couple, who have a daughter and two dogs, run four businesses — two real-estate sales firms, a rentals firm and a home-styling business — and employ almost 70 staff.
Mr Scafidi, who has appeared in various articles and online interviews discussing his business ventures, had poured his money into the businesses, rather than residential property.
It is understood Mr Scafidis has sought legal advice over his sudden dismissal.
On Wednesday, he refused to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.