Customers revolt after CEO posts Capitol selfie on day of riots

February 1, 2021, 5:42 PM UTC

A longtime supplier of bartender essentials is finding itself under fire after its CEO posted a picture of himself in front of the U.S. Capitol on the day of last month’s riots.

BarProducts founder and CEO Mark Hastings posted (and has since deleted) a photo with the caption “Stop the steal,” according to the Wall Street Journal. While Hastings said in the post that he wasn’t inside the Capitol and broke no laws, his protest against the Electoral College vote certification seems to have upset many of his company’s customers.

Social media is filled with calls to boycott the company. And several bartenders and bar managers, who claim to have been long-standing customers, are saying they will take their business elsewhere. BarProducts is a private business, so it is unknown how much of an impact the protests are having on its bottom line.

In a since-deleted Instagram post, though, the company wrote: “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.”

Fortune attempted to reach out to Hastings and BarProducts for comment, but did not receive an immediate reply. In an email to the Journal, Hastings said, “I urge you to reconsider your timing and run the article (that I’d be obliged to help with), at a time when conservative free speech is not under attack.”

Hastings, via Twitter, makes no secret of his political opinions. In a 2018 tweet, he posted 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”—and asked Donald Trump if he agreed this should not be illegal.

Critics have, predictably, replied to this post with further calls to boycott the company.

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