A Bath and Body Works employee is out of work after an incident involving a pro-Trump customer. A viral video taken at the Bath and Body Works at Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona shows a Bath and Body works employee admitting to saying, "F--k Donald Trump" to a customer wearing a MAGA mask.
Jeremiah Cota, the customer wearing the pro-Trump mask, posted the video to Twitter with the caption, "I was accosted by @bathbodyworks manager simply for wearing a Trump face mask. She yelled at me, 'F--k Donald Trump' while I was simply walking by the store. I went to ask if I misheard her and she said no. Poor customer service @bathbodyworks."
In the short video, Jeremiah asks the Bath and Body Works employee, who identifies herself as the manager, to confirm that she said, "F--k Donald Trump." "Yeah because that's how I feel," she responds.
The video has garnered nearly seven million reviews and tens of thousands of likes and retweets. The official Bath and Body Works Twitter account reached out to Jeremiah to speak with him about the incident.
When The Arizona Republic asked Jeremiah to respond to the incident, the strategic initiatives director for the Trump Victory Committee referred the paper to the Committee's spokesperson, Keith Schipper. Schipper told The Republic that "the incident was one of many cases of 'intolerance' leveled toward the president's supporters."
"All of our hopes is that there can just be more tolerance so supporters of the president don't have to have their head on a swivel, looking over their shoulder, wondering who's going to accost them," he said. According to Schipper, Bath and Body Works expressed "how very sorry they were" for the incident.
Just as many, though, were calling for the store manager to be fired, or at least seriously disciplined. "Shameful," one person wrote. "She shouldn't get fired but she should be forced to apologize and be demoted. That is not leadership much less customer service. I've worked retail and I would never dream of insulting any liberal I serviced."
In an emailed statement, Bath and Body Works confirmed that they spoke with Jeremiah and offered their deepest apologies. "We absolutely do not condone these actions as all customers should be treated with respect," the statement reads.
The company writes that the employee is no longer employed by them, though they did not release her name or clarify whether she quit or was fired.
Schipper said that the Trump Victory Committee takes the pandemic seriously, and that Cota and others will continue to wear their Trump masks despite the incident.
When politics are no longer just about politics, when your chosen political party has transformed into a statement about certain people's humanity, as it is today, it can be hard to separate perceived "political stances" from personal slights. Companies need to communicate clearly with their employees about the behavior they expect from their employees in situations like these.