Ricky Schroder, the TV actor who rose to fame with the hit 1980s sitcom Silver Spoons is drawing criticism on social media after he shared a video of himself harassing an employee at a Los Angeles Costco over the company's policy on face masks.
"Boycott Costco till they act like a Free American Company...not," Schroder captioned the video posted on his Instagram account, followed by a Chinese flag emoji.
'Nationwide Costco Has Said You Don't Need to Wear a Mask'
After demanding to know the name of the store's front end supervisor, Schroder, who is not wearing a mask, repeatedly asks why he is not being allowed entry into the store.
"What's your name, and what do you do here?" Schroder can be heard asking a Costco employee, who identifies himself as a supervisor named Jason.
Despite attempts by the employee to explain the state's mask mandate and the policy put in place by Costco, a privately-owned business, regarding face masks, Schroder insists that the company no longer required face coverings.
"Didn't you see the news? You didn't see the news? Nationwide, Costsco has said you don't need to wear a mask," Schroder says. However, Costco did not announce a nationwide reversal of its mask policy. Costco CEO Craig Jelenik instead announced on Friday that certain U.S. locations where the state or local jurisdiction does not have a mask mandate, customers will be allowed to enter Costco without a face mask.
'I'm Getting My Refund from Costco'
When the employee calmly explains Schroder's misinterpretation of the new company policy, the actor goes on a rant about the state being destroyed by the lockdown measures.
"You're going to listen to these people? They've destroyed our economy. They're destroying our state. And you're just going to listen to their rules?," the NYPD Blue star says before adding that he's getting his Costco membership cancelled.
"I'm getting a refund from Costco. I suggest everybody in California get their refund from Costco. Give up your membership to Costco until they remove this." After being handed a receipt for his refund, Schroder finally leaves the property. Watch the video below:
Social Media Reactions
The clip instantly went viral on social media, amassing more than 4.4 million views on Twitter and thousands of comments with some users criticizing Schroder over his behavior while others lauded the employee for how he handled the situation.
"He's awful. Ban Ricky Schroder," wrote one user, while another commented, "Ricky Schroder is a big bully. All he is doing is making someone's job harder for something they don't have any control over."
"If anyone still thinks low wage workers aren't skilled, direct them to this video. Putting up with bullshit like this every day is a skill," opined yet another. "Props to the costco guy for being calm, professional & knowledgeable," tweeted someone else.
Schroder Issues Apology
Schroder later posted a lengthy video on Instagram, in which he apologized to Jason, and said that he was only trying to prove a point to the "corporate overlords."
"What I want to say is, first off to Jason at Costco," he said in the clip. "Jason, nothing personal. I'm not upset with you or anybody in the position like you have who works for a living. I understand that you were following your laws and rules. I was trying to make a point to the corporate overlords and I'm sorry that I had to use you to do it. If I hurt your feelings, I apologize but I do think that independence from medical tyranny is more important than hurting people's feelings."