Friday, June 14, 2024

‘Entitled’ mom who refused to return her shopping cart in viral TikTok doubles down on live news broadcast

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She’s really buggin’.

A California mom who went viral for her rant about grocery store shopping carts was invited to make her point for viewers on KTLA 5 Weekend Morning News on Saturday, reaffirming her controversial stance that returning buggies isn’t worth her time.

“I’m not returning my shopping cart, and you can judge me all you want,” said Leslie Dobson, a Los Angeles-based psychologist, in a May 29 post on TikTok, which has earned nearly 12 million views. “I’m not getting my groceries into my car and getting my children into the car and then leaving them in the car.” 

“So, if you’re going to give me a dirty look, f*** off,” Dobson concluded in her 17-second message, ostensibly recorded from the driver’s seat of her car while parked after a supermarket run.

In a follow-up video published May 31, she doubled down on her hot take, claiming that 265 children were abducted from parking lots last year with half also being sexually assaulted. Her data appeared to be lifted from research by the nonprofit Kids and Car Safety, referring to the number of kids who happen to be in the car during attempted vehicle thefts.

Other parents labeled Leslie Dobson “lazy” and “entitled” for refusing to return her shopping cart. Getty Images

Many viewers weren’t sympathetic to Dobson’s logic. “Somehow all of us other moms manage to return the cart,” one rebuked.

“And some have the most horrific stories I’ve ever heard,” said Dobson — seemingly intimating that she knows families who have experienced a parking lot abduction firsthand. “The point is, trust your intuition not judgments of others. I hope you never experience the pain I’ve seen.”

Many viewers were insulted by the working mother’s seemingly “lazy” and “entitled” behavior and labeled her a “Karen.”

“Mom of a 6-year-old, 3-year-old and 9-month-old. I simply unload groceries, return cart WITH kids, and then load them in. Same way that we got out of car. Simple,” wrote on disapproving parent on Dobson’s initial clip.

On the local morning news programs, anchors Megan Telles and Lauren Lyster — both also mothers — to discuss Dobson’s stance and the subsequent backlash, including death threats and doxxing.

Said Dobson of the response, “I am shocked, but I am also very happy, because I’ve received hundreds — maybe to the point of even thousands – of messages from moms saying, ‘I pulled into the spot, I’m looking at my surroundings and I’m more aware now.’ I know the video was provocative, but that’s what I wanted…I wanted to grab attention. It’s the bigger picture of ‘We need to empower ourselves to trust our intuitions’.” 

She continued to describe how the plights of parenthood are “minimized’ by society — as even loading little ones into the car can be a struggle.

“Coming from the mindset of someone who has worked with predators for 20 years, I know how they think, and I know what they look for, and that is a vulnerable moment,” she said “When you return to your car, you have already been watched for a significant amount of time, so if you are choosing social niceties over protecting your children, I just wanted to say that you don’t have to.”

Leslie Dobson speaking to camera in TikTok on May 31
Leslie Dobson addressed her critics in a May 31 TikTok video, claiming that hundreds of children are abducted from parking lots annually. TikTok

Dobson reiterated that her opinion was rooted in child safety and protecting the helpless from predators.

“We have taken power back from predators because now, this is a worldwide conversation, which I am shocked by,” she said. “But honestly, if we have awareness, then that predator isn’t going to be able to do what he intended.” 

Dobson also conceded that she in fact does return the buggy on occasion.

“I always return my shopping cart, but if I don’t feel safe and my kids are in the car, they are my priority,” she said. “I’m putting it somewhere safe and prioritizing the safety of my kids.” 

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