Adorama found itself in a bit of a controversy last week when a customer, Brandon Straka, claimed that he was refused service at the company’s store in New York City because the clerk disagreed with Straka’s political views.
This is not the first such instance of a company refusing a customer service because of a political disagreement in the United States, but it is one more story in what many fear is becoming a trend in how people with political disagreements deal with one another.
The whole thing took place at the superstore camera outlet in Manhattan and, according to Straka, founder of #WalkAway, a movement encouraging members of the US Democratic Party to leave their party, led to an employee refusing him service after he picked out his equipment.
The employee, who is unnamed, apparently shunned Straka after another customer recognized him from a recent television appearance. The customer told Straka, “I saw you on Tucker! You’re that Walk Away guy!,” according to Peta Pixel. Tucker Carlson Tonight is a political talk show in the United States viewable on the Fox News network.
Apparently, this identification was enough to motivate the employee to refuse to sell the gear to Straka or as he recalled in a Tweet: “He stared at me with this kind of dead-pan expression,” Straka tells the Times. “And he said: ‘Are you planning to use this equipment for alt-right purposes? […] I’m sorry I just don’t feel comfortable selling to you. I can’t sell to you.'”
Straka then continued: “It kind of took my breath away. I said to him, ‘Listen, if you can’t sell to me, that’s fine, but, you know, person to person, I’d like to talk to you, because I don’t think you know what Walk Away is about.’ And he said, ‘Well, you know, I’m done. I’m not comfortable selling to you. You’re welcome to talk to someone else in the store but I’m not going to sell to you.'”
Even without that employee’s help, Straka was able to purchase the camera gear he came to buy but the story didn’t end there.
Adorama then released an apology and the CEO of Adorama personally called Straka himself. As of press, the store has not commented on any disciplinary action the employee will face.