Man Who ‘Hunts’ LGBTQIA+ Supporters Demands Shop Take Down Pride Flag

A conservative social media commentator and general ignoramus named Ethan Schmidt has yet again made himself look like an idiot, this time by busting into a PetSmart store and demanding employees remove a Pride flag. In case you’re not familiar with Schmidt (and let’s be honest, what well-adjusted, decent person is?), he’s previously said he would “hunt” anyone who supports the LGBTQIA+ community in a video from May this year. In other words, he’s reckless. Anyway, I digress… onto the story!

  1. The 24-year-old decided to harass PetSmart employees recently. He filmed himself heading into a store and going on at people who worked there — again, this is a pet store — about how they must take down the flag because it “offends [him] greatly]. Hateful jackasses like Schmidt offend me, as it turns out. Thankfully, PetSmart employees refused.
  2. Schmidt even tried to get the manager involved. This guy is so self-righteous that he believed since the employee wouldn’t take the flag down, the manager certainly would! After all, what business owner wouldn’t cow to an entitled, bigoted white dude who comes busting into the store spewing hate? “Yeah that stuff is satanic, we can’t be having that, especially at PetSmart,” Schmidt tells the manager.
  3. The manager let Schmidt know in know uncertain terms that the company and the store employees support the LGBTQIA+ community. Not satisfied with this answer, Schmidt responded: “You support pedophilia and child sexualization? Because that’s what that stands for, you know? You’re sexualizing kids with that flag man? I’m very offended and I would like for it to be taken down. Respect the customers […] and please take it down.” I… what?! Wow, the idiocy is real.
  4. Schmidt is then asked to leave the store. Another employee joins the manager and they let Schmidt know that if he didn’t want to go willingly, the police would gladly escort him out. Eventually, he left.
  5. People online are flooding PetSmart’s socials with love. “Give these employees a raise – they did you proud!” one person wrote. Another suggested: “Serious props to that manager at the end – that says volumes about Petsmart and their values, I’ll be happy to keep shopping there. :)” A third expressed their appreciation more directly, commenting: “Thank you @PetSmart for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community!”

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill