LA Karen calls Trader Joe's staff 'Democratic pigs' in viral video as they kick her out for not wearing mask
The incident was filmed by several shoppers and has been viewed over 10 million times on social media
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A woman went viral on social media past week after she was filmed screaming profanities at employees and shoppers at a Trader Joe's when they asked her to wear a mask. The incident unfolded at a newly-opened, 16,000-square-foot store at 6150 Laurel Canyon Boulevard on Friday, June 26, and was filmed by Durell Giles, who uploaded several videos of the woman's tirade on his Twitter.
In those videos, which have been viewed over 10 million times, the 'Karen' — a popular social media term used to describe a woman who is entitled or demanding beyond what is deemed reasonable — can be seen claiming she is being "harassed" for not wearing a face mask and angrily throwing her shopping basket to the ground. "He was harassing me, he cussed me out, do you think this is OK?" she can be heard yelling at employees before one directs her to leave the store. "You're f**king pigs. You're f**king Democratic pigs, all of you."
"That man harassed me for not wearing a mask," she continues, as several shoppers record her rant. "I have a breathing problem, my doctor will not let me wear a mask. So anyone harassing me to wear a mask, you guys are violating federal law. Did you get that? Get that on camera." She's eventually kicked out of the store by the employees.
As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continued to escalate, California had decreed on June 18 that people should wear masks or face coverings inside businesses. While the guidelines do include exemptions for people with medical conditions, it was recommended that these people either have their items delivered to them at home or carry a medical card with them and make special arrangements for themselves while others are not at the store.
Speaking to Fox11, the 'Karen' claimed that she had made arrangements with a manager of a Trader Joe's but that she ended up at the wrong location. She also insisted that she did have a medical condition but that she still preferred shopping for herself.
"I am a human being. I felt helpless," she said, explaining her outburst. "I normally call every business before I go in because I have a medical breathing condition which means I can’t properly breathe through my nose and I let a manager know before I go in. I do the respectful thing and I let them know."
She said she had spoken to a manager by the name of Larry at the Trader Joe's in Toluca Lake but that a manager at the North Hollywood location also approved her shopping without a mask and told her, "OK, go ahead and do your shopping just for today."
It was then that she reportedly ran into a customer who was upset she was not wearing any face covering. "He started being aggressive, and vulgar and cussing me out," she said. "They made it look like I am this crazy person, and yes, I did throw my basket to the ground."
While it has repeatedly been claimed that masks could hinder those with respiratory problems, the American Lung Association has insisted otherwise. "There is absolutely no scientific evidence that mask-wearing or physical distancing weakens the immune system," physicians at the ALA said.