Social media has dubbed the woman, Amber Lynn Gilles, a “Karen” after she posted on a photo of the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, on Facebook with the caption “Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.”
“Karen” is a deprecating term used to label a demanding white woman who displays a sense of overbearing entitlement in various societal confrontations.
Gilles received backlash from her post and instead, supporters created a GoFundMe, raising $63,714 as of Saturday in tips for the barista, who is also a dancer who aspires to teach children.
Gutierrez posted a video on Facebook thanking everyone who contributed and described the incident that occurred.
“This is my side of the story and my opinions, nothing on behalf of Starbucks,” he prefaced the video.
Gutierrez said he was working at the front register when Gilles walked into the store without a mask on.
“I asked her, “do you have a face mask?” and she told me ‘no, I don’t need one’,” he said in the video.
Gutierrez said that before he was able to explain to her Starbucks policy that all customers wear a mask in the store, he said she “flips me off and she starts cursing up a storm.”
He adds that Gilles left the store but then came back in, asked for his name and took a photo of him, and threatened to call the company’s corporate office to complain.
San Diego county requires everyone to wear face coverings in public, including when picking up food at restaurants or shopping at a store, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Gutierrez says the money that was raised on his behalf will go a long way towards helping him pursue his passion.