Who is Mark Hastings? Here's BarProducts CEO's controversial social media past before Capitol riot selfie
BarProducts CEO Hastings had posted a picture of himself surrounded by Donald Trump supporters that day, captioning his post 'Stop the Steal!'
The CEO of BarProducts.com Mark Hastings has hit back at a boycott of his company after he took a selfie at the US Capitol in the moments preceding the January 6 insurrection. Hastings even attempted to dissuade a reporter from writing about the boycott while the company, a longtime supplier of bartender essentials, complained that it was being 'bashed' for Hastings' personal views.
While Hastings removed the controversial selfie he also asked Wall Street Journal that reported about the incident to wait till the time when “conservative free speech is not under attack”
Who is Mark Hastings?
The 61-year-old is the founder, president and CEO of BarProducts.com, an online retailer that sells a variety of bar supplies, including cocktail shakers, strainers and stainless-steel jiggers, mini-refrigerators as well as knick-knacks for the interior. The Florida-based company which started with one product in 1995, now boasts of 10,000 products, over 60 employees and two major warehouse locations catering to bar and restaurant chains and home bar enthusiasts alike. "By bartenders, for bartenders," the website states as the company's goal.
Hastings found himself on the public hitlist after he had posted (and has since deleted) a selfie while surrounded by former president Donald Trump's supporters on the day rioters stormed Congress.
He had captioned his post 'Stop the Steal!' in reference to Trump's claims that the election was 'stolen' via voter fraud. Hastings has seen backlash in the form of a boycott of his business from bartenders who say they'll use alternate supply firms.
The company also tried to defend itself on Instagram page, "A man that practices his freedom of speech on his PERSONAL Facebook page is getting bashed all over social media and as a result, our company is also getting bashed." That post has since been deleted.
A controversial Twitter profile
Hastings’ Twitter profile makes no secret of his political opinions either. In 2018, he tweeted a picture of a flyer that read, “Job applicants, please note: We do not hire liberals. This is not because we disagree with their political views. It is because working here requires superior reasoning, logic, and reading comprehension skills, and in our experience, liberals are deficient in those areas”. He even asked Trump if he agreed this should not be illegal. The tweet has since been deleted.
Critics have predictably replied to this post, which is making the rounds on social media with further calls to boycott the company. “@BarProducts feels the PERSONAL founder’s actions to overturn our election shouldn’t impact (his) the company. He doesn’t hire liberals into (his) company due to their inferior intelligence. Seems. Hypocritical?”, a social media user tweeted.
.@BarProducts feels the PERSONAL founder’s actions to overturn our election shouldn’t impact (his) the company. He doesn’t hire liberals into (his) company due to their inferior intelligence. Seems. Hypocritical? #BarProducts #SeditionHasConsequences— nobody’s puppet (@N0bodysPuppet) February 2, 2021
Social media bar on Hastings' company
The backlash against Hastings' company has shown no signs of slowing down as reactions poured in on Twitter. "Hello Mark, the next bar products you will be working on are prison bars. Sedition is a felony,” said a user. Another called him a 'scumbag' and called to 'boycott bar products'.
Hello Mark, the next bar products you will be working on are prison bars. Sedition is a felony.— Evan Owen (@evanthediplomat) January 31, 2021
For Mark Hastings and BarProducts, it looks like they are likely to remain shaken for a long time