The San Diego Starbucks’ barista who was publicly shamed on social media by a customer who he asked to wear a face mask in a video that’s gone viral has raised over $50,000 in tips on GoFundMe.
“It’s so shocking to see something get so big that only happened within a few minutes,” barista Lenin Gutierrez said in a video on Facebook. “I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story,” Gutierrez wrote with the post. “Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.”
“Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild,” says the GoFundMe.
Matt Cowan said he started the GoFundMe after seeing comments in support of Gutierrez after his encounter with Amber Lynn Gilles at the Starbucks on Genesee Avenue in San Diego. “I set it at $1,000, thinking that was a reach and we would be lucky if we hit like $250,” Cowan told KGTV. “And when we hit $100 I was overwhelmed by that.”
Cowan says he was struck by how people are “rallying around somebody for doing what they’re supposed,” and that, “It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there, and that outweighs the bad.”
Gilles included a photo of Gutierrez in a Facebook post Monday that detailed her visit that she has since taken down after it was shared over 50,000 times and received over 120K comments, most of whom pilloried Gilles and were sympathetic to Gutierrez .
The caption on the video Gilles posted said, “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.”
The state of California requires that people wear a mask in public.
Gilles now says she wants some of that GoFundMe money and is threatening to sue Cowan for defamation and slander. “I never threatened him, I just called him out on his actions. I never threatened him and I’ve received death threats, thousands, it’s very upsetting. It’s very scary,” said Gilles in a Tweet.
“I never threatened him.” Hear from woman who was denied service at a Clairemont Starbucks for refusing to wear a mask. She publically shamed the barista. A Go Fund Me Page on his behalf is now over $22,000. She says she’s getting death threats. #nbc7 & https://t.co/ylvk5rP6Vf pic.twitter.com/gCREw0LR5V
— Artie Ojeda (@ArtieNBCSD) June 25, 2020
According to NBC News: “Gilles, 35, has three children and considers herself an anti-vaxxer. She says face masks are ineffective. ‘It starts with coffee but it ends with digital certificates and forced vaccinations,’ Gilles said.”