(Explicit Language Warning)
The cultural battle brewing in the United States has bled into almost every element of public life, including online interactions, media, public statues, and academia. That battle has also now bled into shopping, an activity that once separated political discord from civil life.
One supporter of President Trump learned that his opinions were not at all welcome in an Arizona shopping mall when a manager of Bath & Body Works literally shrieked an expletive at him for daring to don a "MAGA" face covering while walking past the store.
I was accosted by @bathbodyworks manager simply for wearing a Trump face mask. She yelled at me "F---- Donald Trump" while I was simply walking by the store.— Jeremiah Cota ~ Text TRUMP to 88022 (@jeremiahcota) July 10, 2020
I went to ask if I misheard her and she said no.
Poor customer service at @bathbodyworks pic.twitter.com/RFvKk9FoW9
Jeremiah Cota, whose Twitter bio credits him as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for AZ Trump Victory, flipped on his phone camera after the Bath & Body Works employee caught him off guard with the shocking insult. He doubled back to the store to confirm that what he heard was accurate and was assured that, yes, he had heard correctly.
"Are you the manager?" Cota asked the woman in uniform, wearing a pink face covering. When she answered in the affirmative Cota asked point blank if she had said what he thought she did upon seeing his Trump mask.
"Yes, that's how I feel," the manager responded flippantly. Cota thanked the manager for her confirmation and the exchange ended but his experience at the Scottsdale shopping mall quickly jumped to social media, where he linked in the Bath & Body Works corporate account.
The mall chain staple, famous for its lines of sweet smelling soaps, hand sanitizers, body sprays, and candles, did not hesitate in issuing a concerned response to Cota's chilling video.
"We'd like the opportunity to speak with you about your experience, Jeremiah," the company account said in a tweet reply. "Please DM us your phone number and best time to contact you. Thank you!" Cota posted his initial response publicly, however, sharing his concern with the captive audience who had witnessed his harassment.
Hi, @bathbodyworks this was the store at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. I was walking by the store with my family when the manager yelled an unprovoked expletive at me for my #MAGA face mask.— Jeremiah Cota ~ Text TRUMP to 88022 (@jeremiahcota) July 10, 2020
This was an embarrassing and harassing experience for me coming from your management
As of publication of this article, Bath & Body Works has only responded vaguely to customer concerns with a canned response saying they are working with an "appropriate team" to respond to the incident.
We assure you we taking this seriously and partnering with the appropriate team for further review.— Bath & Body Works (@bathbodyworks) July 10, 2020
The account posted that response, thanking customers for their concerns, dozens of times since Cota posted the video last night. As of Friday afternoon, the manager's name had not been released and it is not known whether she has faced professional consequences for her outburst.