Actor’s Allegation that WeHo’s Target Discriminates Against the Homeless Has Gone Viral

John Barrowman speaking for a video outside Target at the Gateway (Facebook)

A man’s claim that he was criticized by employees at the Target store at WeHo’s Gateway shopping plaza because he wanted to buy a gift card for a homeless person has gone viral on Facebook and gossip sites.

It has been somewhat confirmed but also somewhat contradicted by Desiree Sol, the Target employee who dealt with him, who also is a member of the city’s Public Safety Commission.

In a video posted on Facebook, John Barrowman, an actor, says he “just bought a $40 gift certificate and a jacket and a shirt for a homeless person. And I was just lectured by the Target staff that I was not allowed to do that….

“Target, that’s a stupid rule. How dare you tell me as a customer who I am allowed to buy for and what I’m allowed to buy?”

As of 2 p.m. today Barrowman’s Facebook post had gotten 1.3 million views and was shared 39,000 times. Barrowman also posted his allegation on Instagram. A Scottish-American actor known for his work in film and on Broadway, Barrowman has a large following.

A story on TMZ, the gossip website, says that Barrowman claimed “a homeless man approached him asking John if he could buy an $8 t-shirt for him. John says he was happy to help and also picked up a grooming kit, $40 gift card and other items for the man.

“The ‘Arrow’ actor claims he was approached by store employees at checkout who told him it was illegal to purchase items for the homeless in their store. Furious, John left the store.”

Desiree Sol, who works at the Target store at the Gateway, described her experience dealing with Barrowman yesterday.

“This gentleman was the last guest that I helped on my shift before I went on my last break,” Sol said in a post on Facebook. “We spoke about his kindness, and I thanked him and discussed some of the programs that the City of West Hollywood offers the homeless population. He acknowledged and said some people don’t want to give up their alcohol or their vices to enter into programs which is understandable, he just wanted to help this guy out.

“He asked me about purchasing a gift card for the gentleman. I told him at self-checkout, unfortunately I’m not able to ring you up for a gift card, but if you go to our guest service counter they (would) be more than happy to help you. And this is what happened next …

” *** update *** apparently after I left to break, a security team member told him he could not purchase a gift card for a homeless person. I think that is the issue and hopefully not with me.”

A spokesperson for Target told WEHOville that the store does not bar purchases by or on behalf of homeless people. He said that “leadership is investigating the situation” allegedly involving the security guard.


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Cy Husain
Guest

First off the Security Officer clearly exceeded their authority in when telling Mr. Barrowman what he can and cannot do with his money when it comes to helping the homeless and, misrepresented Target’s position on this issue (see my other postings with links). People are entitled to their PUBLIC SUPPORT of any group of people to gain Society’s acceptance of that group of people. Which reminds me that I must make my tax deductible donation to Hamas and Hezbollah before the 15th of this month! As to the homeless facing an injustice here, I could easily produce a list of… Read more »

Concerned Citizen
Guest
Concerned Citizen

Seems to be a wee bit of self-promotion. Why didn’t he just give the guy 40 bucks in cash? Gift cards are a control issue.
Some wise person once said, “The only true giving is anonymous giving.”
It was a nice gesture but why does everyone have to know how “caring” you are?

Cy Husain
Guest

The individual mentioned in the article John Barrowman is a well established ACTOR and NOT in need of ANY “self-promotion” by local media outlets in the Great City of West Hollywood! YES when it comes to an individual’s money they have every right to exercise some “control” over as how that money is being used. Come the 15th of this month I would like to pay my taxes to the government in the form of a gift card that CAN’T be used to finance the military or corporate subsidies. Imagine the outcry over homeless people being funded by actors, making… Read more »

Concerned Citizen
Guest
Concerned Citizen

All actors need promotion.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Maybe he didn’t want them to use the $40 on drugs?

Cy Husain
Guest

I believe that I covered that in my prior posting when I stated the following:
“YES when it comes to an individual’s money they have every right to exercise some “control” over as how that money is being used.”

Then went on later:
“Imagine the outcry over homeless people being funded by actors, making major drug and alcohol purchases.”

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Bottom line. You CANT buy Gift Cards or Booze at self-check out. He was trying to buy a gift card. Rules are Rules. Go to a different line and this would not have been an issue.

Cy Husain
Guest

The issue in NOT over the rules concerning what can or can not be purchased at self-checkout which Mr. Barrowman was completely willing to comply with. It is over the fact “a security team member told him he could not purchase a gift card for a homeless person,” clearly overstepping their authority!

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I shop this target all the time!
I’ve seen numerous shop lifters apprehended and yes they often look homeless, so if I see this often it must be happening all the time.
And yes they should do something about it or it gets out of hand.

It’s not discrimination!…
It’s motivated by the cold facts and a need for action.

Cy Husain
Guest

A great deal of selection bias in your data on shoplifters there! The “professional” shoplifters who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of shoplifting losses do NOT look homeless, nor do they act in any manner as to call any negative attention to themselves. If caught they know enough to cast some reasonable doubt on their actions when it comes to proving intent to steal and, many times offering to pay for the item on the spot without making a scene. A small cost of doing business for them. They do tend to disproportionately be white middle class looking looking… Read more »

Eric Jon schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon schmidt

Why am I the only one who makes pleasant comments? Why are there so many haters here? Why can’t people just appreciate that someone did something nice? The comments people make speaks volumes of the kind of people they are.

Concerned Citizen
Guest
Concerned Citizen

You are naive.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

I am not naïve. I have had moe life experiences than any 20 people combined. As a result, I am compassionate. And I have the courage to put my real name and picture on my comment. I never say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Than any other 20 people combined? You might make pleasant comments, but that is quite a statement, and pretty egotistical and narcissistic, in and of itself.

I’m wondering how you know what the random 20 people’s life experiences have been, exactly? If you want to be compassionate, please realize that you haven’t walked in everyone else’s shoes, so please don’t make assumptions about what other people’s life experiences have been.

Randy
Guest
Randy

He was on Doctor who and torchwood!! He is a great guy!

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

John

Target told me they would not donate water bottles for the homeless about a week ago. I get water and anything I can for the homeless. You should contact TMZ. They lose stories like this

Kmart gave a lot of stuff. I don’t shop at Target anymore as a result.

FB: Eric Jon Schmidt for WeHo

Cy Husain
Guest

If you recall the wave of anti-LGBT “bathroom bills” along with a public hysteria that was being promoted by the republicans, it was TARGET that took a stand in Support of the Equality Act even when threatened with a great deal of harassment by right-wing groups. I myself gave Target and specifically West Hollywood’s Target an excellent Google review for their acceptance of the LGBT community and other oppressed groups, both as customers and employees. Many people facing discrimination in the workplace that I have sent to Target have been hired. When an organized hate group showed up at Target… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Good point CY

Daniel Cacho
Guest
Daniel Cacho

Your comment about Target needing to help the homeless rather than hurting them assumes an incorrect fact that Target has a policy about buying foods or gift cards for thx homeless, which it does not. This whole drama revolves around a Target employee incorrectly (whether intentionally or unintentionally) telling a customer that Target has such a policy against helping the homeless. While a Target employee (who may now be a former employee) may have done something wrong, Target didn’t do anything wrong in this whole situation. So, while I applaud you did your caring for the homeless, you are falsely… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

Please note the given links in my comment and how I have defended Target in the past for supporting oppressed minority groups.

Eric Jon schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon schmidt

John

I have been helping the homeless for years. I admire what you did. I have done the same thing. If you want to do more to help please contact me

Eric. Erikjonerik@gmail

FB Eric Jon Schmidt for WeHo

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

Seriously.
He’s an actor?

Anyway, you don’t tell somebody your business; you just do it.
That will lessen the scourge of other people’s opinions.

Cy Husain
Guest

YES an actor in Hollywood 😳, I’ve encountered this on numerous occasions myself as well! Also you will find that PUBLIC SUPPORT of any marginalized group of people is highly effective in building society’s acceptance of that group of people! ✌🏾

Susan
Guest
Susan

He’s an actor? Looks like he is doing this as a publicity stunt to get jobs.

Cy Husain
Guest

REALLY? 😲 My years of Political Activism have resulted in the losses of numerous jobs, with an even greater number of unanswered applications and résumés. Mr. Barrowman has courageously taken on a great deal of personal risk in defense of those unable to stand up for themselves. NO people do NOT get media jobs for defending unpopular oppressed groups of people. Most attractive young white people with successful media careers, got their positions by proving their ability to promote mendacious stereotypes to the general public!

Susan Conner
Guest
Susan Conner

Sweetie, he doesn’t need to pull any stunts to get jobs. You obviously don’t know who he is.

Susan
Guest
Susan

I don’t know who he is because he hasn’t been in anything worth noting.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Wow, I read his IMDB listing and was quite impressed, but such professional achievement would not fit the narrative of nameless, faceless, anonymous trolls who get their jollies by spewing invective on public comment sections of legitimate and quality journalism sites.

JJ
Guest
JJ

This is news?

Cy Husain
Guest

When any group of people have suffered injustice, it is worthy of society’s attention! ☮️

JJ
Guest
JJ

A security guard gave the guy a dump answer. Why he was going around telling every employee what he planned on doing with a purchased gift card is a little strange. No group of people have suffered injustice here. Give me a break. You must be running for office like Eric. Never saw either of you on here until just a few months ago and now you post on every article with lengthy and self promoting responses.

Cy Husain
Guest

My reply accidentally got posted at the top of the comments, see above! 🙂