Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Meet The Nice Jewish Boy Who Called Howard Schultz An ‘Egotistical Billionaire A****e’

The man who heckled Howard Schultz, the ex-Starbucks CEO and possible presidential candidate, is a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn. He spoke with Gothamist about his history of heckling,, his belief in the power of heckling and his tried and true heckling method.

Andy Ratto, an activist, called out Schultz during the latter’s appearance at a Manhattan Barnes and Noble promoting his new book.

“Don’t help elect Trump,” Ratto yelled.

“Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world,” Ratto added. “This isn’t what Democracy needs right now!”

He was quickly removed from the bookstore by security.

Schultz has not officially announced his candidacy, but said he might run in a 60 Minutes interview broadcast Sunday.

Ratto told the Forward in messages sent via Twitter that he sees his Jewish identity as playing a role in his heckling.

“I think it’s part of a long-standing tradition of brash Jewish humor and sarcasm that I see as part of our community’s heritage,” he said.

Ratto added that he views Schultz through the lens of “radical Jewish leftism”: Whereas some Jews might treat Schultz as one of their own because he is broadly liberal and Jewish, Ratto considers Schultz a “class enemy.”

Ratto told Gothamist he thinks that Schultz is only running to protect his own money, and found fault with Schultz’s early rejection of “Medicare for All.”

“When someone accumulates billions of dollars on the backs of the labor of their employees and then turns around to say they want to become president to protect their own interests at the expense of others, we should be clear about what’s happening,” Ratto told Gothamist.

Ratto said he believes heckling is an efficient way to get politicians to hear the opinions of regular citizens. He cited New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s assertion that it was a single man who grabbed his lapel and asked him to look into the proposed temporary shutdown of the L train that led Cuomo to push for reversing the long-planned shutdown.

Ratto has also heckled Cuomo himself, as well as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer — at the very same Barnes and Noble where he heckled Schultz.

Ratto said only one part of his heckling was planned — the bit about Schultz being an “egotistical billionaire a*****e.”

“The rest of it was off the top of my head,” he said.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.