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'Conservative free speech is under attack': CEO who posted selfie in front of Capitol during siege slams boycott of his bar supplies firm

 Mark Hastings, the CEO of BarProducts.com, is lashing out at a boycott of his company after he took a selfie at the Capitol in the moments preceding the January 6 insurrection.

The CEO attempted to dissuade a reporter from writing about the boycott while the company complained that it was being 'bashed' for Hastings' personal views. 

Hastings, 61, had posted the picture of himself surrounded by Donald Trump supporters that day, captioning his post 'Stop the Steal!'

That was a common refrain among Trump supporters who believed the election was 'stolen' via voter fraud, despite a lack of evidence.

 Since making (and deleting) his post, however, Hastings has seen backlash in the form of a boycott of his business from bartenders who say they'll use alternate supply firms.

Mark Hastings, CEO of BarProducts, posted this since-deleted selfie at the Capitol

Mark Hastings, CEO of BarProducts, posted this since-deleted selfie at the Capitol

Later in the day, rioters would storm the halls of the Capitol, ultimately leaving five dead

Later in the day, rioters would storm the halls of the Capitol, ultimately leaving five dead

Mark Hastings tried to stop coverage of the boycott, telling the Wall Street Journal: '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'

Mark Hastings tried to stop coverage of the boycott, telling the Wall Street Journal: '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'


The Wall Street Journal talked to several people about the brand and the growing backlash against Largo-wholesaler BarProducts.

 'After 16 years of buying my bar tools from his company I, for one, will never spend another cent with them,' said Brad Kaplan, a bartender at Denver International Airport.

Jabriel Donohue, the bar manager at the Mountaineering Club inside the Graduate Hotel in Seattle, wrote on Facebook: 'This is a person I've given money to and in some way, I feel a little responsible for funding him to be there.' 

The company defended itself with a post on its Instagram page that read, '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.'

 That post has since been deleted.

The online retailer sells a variety of bar supplies, including shot glasses, bottle openers and mini refrigerators as well as knick-knacks for the interior.  

Hastings has claimed in deleted social media posts that he did not enter the Capitol

Hastings has claimed in deleted social media posts that he did not enter the Capitol

There is also no clear photographic evidence of Hastings entering the Capitol that day

There is also no clear photographic evidence of Hastings entering the Capitol that day

Hastings, for his part, tried to get the WSJ not to run their story due to an environment he perceives as being hostile toward conservative voices.

'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 emailed to the publication.

The backlash against BarProducts, a company Hastings started in 1995 that cites over 60 employees and 10,000 products, has shown no signs of slowing down.

Nevertheless, the backlash against Hastings and his company has been swift

Nevertheless, the backlash against Hastings and his company has been swift

'BarProducts is another company whose owner funded & attended the sedition. Good idea to avoid its products. #BarProducts drinks are TOXIC,' wrote one Twitter user.

'Oh no! You mean actions have consequences? Poor thing,' said another.

Steven Catini posted it was a 'Textbook example of Felony Stupid.'  

Hastings has claimed in deleted social media posts that he didn't commit any crimes on January 6 and didn't enter the Capitol. There is no known photographic evidence that puts him inside of the Capitol.

Still, his presence nearby and decision to protest the election could harm his business, as it has harmed the businesses of others.

Bradley Rukstales lost his job as CEO of a marketing firm after entering the Capitol that day.

Other businesses and executives associated with the false claims of election fraud, such as MyPillow with CEO Mike Lindell, have also suffered, with Bed Bath & Beyond pulling MyPillow products, ostensibly due to bad sales.

MyPillow CEO attacks Dems, Fox, Dominion Voting Systems at rally
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One of the most notable names silenced in the aftermath of the Capitol riot was Trump himself, who faced accusations of incitement and was impeached for his role in the violence, which left five dead.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were among the many social media platforms that banned the president during his last couple of weeks in office.

Social media platforms typically frequented by right-wing users, such as Parler, also went dark in the aftermath of the Capitol riot as tech companies began pulling them from dedicated app stores.

In another tweet that appears to have been deleted, Hastings tagged Donald Trump with a photo that supporting not hiring liberals, which would be illegal discrimination

In another tweet that appears to have been deleted, Hastings tagged Donald Trump with a photo that supporting not hiring liberals, which would be illegal discrimination

This isn't the first time Hastings posted something controversial to social media.

In a since-deleted tweet from 2018 captured by Fortune, Hastings posted a picture of a sheet that read: 'Job Applicants Please Note: We do not hire LIBERALS.'

Hastings tagged Trump in the Christmas Eve tweet, saying, 'Dear Mr. President, @realDonaldTrump Would you agree this should not be illegal?"

Hastings doesn't appear particularly active on Twitter anymore, with just 25 tweets and 28 followers.

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