Video shows ‘Thrift Shop Karen’ refusing to wear her mask at Goodwill

'Why are you being disrespectful?'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Dec 14, 2020   Updated on Dec 14, 2020, 12:03 pm CST

A video trending on Reddit shows “Thrift Shop Karen” refusing to wear her mask at a Goodwill store in Asheville, North Carolina. 

The video, posted recently on the popular r/PublicFreakout page, deleted, and re-uploaded to YouTube on Monday, shows the woman up in arms about being asked to wear a mask. And even just the bandana she’s wearing around her neck. An employee asks: “Why are you being disrespectful?” The original Reddit post claimed that the incident occurred over the weekend.

“I’m just trying to shop, and people are coming up to me like, ‘You’re putting me at risk,'” she says. “It’s a goddamn thrift store, people!”

“It’s a thrift store. I assume the risk if there’s nasty-ass shit on here,” pointing at the clothes during a spiel of false equivalence. 

A man off-camera says the store “will be fined,” and they “will be closed,” presumably if they were reported to the state or Buncombe County health department. She says, “that has literally never happened.”

However, according to ABC 13 News, health officials encouraged people to report these instances, whether it was the store or patron’s fault. Additional reports state that though local law enforcement may not punish stores or patrons, health officials can fine and temporarily close locations.

“If individuals in our community see violations or see things, they’re not sure if a business or establishment is following executive orders, we want them to contact us,” said Buncombe County Public Health Director Stacie Saunders.

The Karen also says she’s not “legally required to have a mask on,” which is false. As an extension of Gov. Roy Cooper’s expiring Executive Order 180, the recently issued Executive Order 181 states “a face covering is still required in all public indoor settings if there are nonhousehold members present, regardless of the individual’s ability to maintain social distance.”

Thrift Shop Karen says the proper etiquette would’ve been to ask if she was medically exempt. This notion would also be false, as there aren’t exceptions in the mandates or executive orders. 

The Goodwill employee informs her that this idea doesn’t apply. Then she pretends that the store attempt at enforcement bordered on harassment: “You followed me around the store, like within my 6-foot bubble, yeah, fuck you… I think it’s indecent for you to tell me I can’t shop here.”

The employee points to the bandana, but she claims that she’s worn it “for like two years.”

He asks her to put it on.

“No, I don’t legally have to. I don’t logically have to,” she says. But then she’s surprised upon hearing the idea of her being forced out of the Goodwill. She continues to make the false equivalence with COVID-19 and the items being sold in the Goodwill. 

The video cuts there. 

Thrift Shop Karen going on about not wearing a mask was selfish and unproductive.

As u/ChaoticReality4Now commented: “Just use your fucking bandana, why is it so hard? Even if you don’t agree with it, you can obviously tell people are upset. Only an ignorant narcissist would rather piss off an entire store than take 2 seconds to pull up your bandana.”

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*First Published: Dec 14, 2020, 11:56 am CST