Shoppers call for Hobby Lobby boycott over pro-Trump display

  • Hobby Lobby is once again in hot water in response to a now-viral tweet that allegedly shows a display of decorative letters at one of the company’s locations that reads “USA Vote Trump.” 
  • The boycott is one of several efforts made against the company in the past decade, in response to its controversial stances on everything from reproductive rights to coronavirus safety policies. 
  • “I’m not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there,” Kari Brekke, the author of the viral tweet, told Business Insider.”I’m a Democrat. I hate the company.”
  • Some Twitter users pointed out that another customer may have arranged the letters rather than an employee.
  • Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request to comment. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shoppers are once again calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts company that’s no stranger to controversy. 

The growing #BoycottHobbyLobby effort began picking up steam on social media on Sunday, in response to a now viral tweet shared by user Kari Brekke. In the tweet — which now has has more than 33,000 likes and over 10,000 retweets — Brekke shares an image of what is allegedly a Hobby Lobby store with a display of decorative letters arranged to read “USA Vote Trump.”

—Kari B (@KariBrekke) September 6, 2020

Brekke told Business Insider that she did not in fact take the photo, but rather pulled it on a public post shared in a national Facebook group for the Lincoln Project, an organization started by former Republicans in 2019 dedicated to preventing President Donald Trump’s re-election. 

Brekke said she not have any additional information regarding who may have arranged the display, nor at which store location the photo was taken. Some other Twitter users pointed out that these letters are free for customers to move around — in other words, a customer may have arranged the picture, rather than an employee.

—Hank Green: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is Out! (@hankgreen) September 7, 2020

Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

“I’m not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there,” Brekke told Business Insider.”I’m a Democrat. I hate the company.”

The call to boycott the craft store was swift on Twitter, as users shared the image with captions like “I’ve never stepped foot in a Hobby Lobby and never will” along with the hashtag #BoycottHobbyLobby.

—Madison McFarland (@MADELWELL) September 6, 2020

—Frank Giugliano (@nyccookies) September 7, 2020

This new boycott is just the latest in a smattering of outcries against the company in the past decade. 

In 2012, the company faced widespread scrutiny for denying access to contraceptives reproductive health care to employees. A high-profile Supreme Court case subsequently ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s right to withhold reproductive benefits, determining private companies are allowed to be exempt from the law on the basis of religious preferences.

Hobby Lobby has also been the subject of boycotts in response to anti-Semitic and homophobic comments made its openly conservative Christian CEO and founder, David Green. In 2013, Green told a shopper the company did not carry products for Jewish holidays because it “doesn’t cater to your people,” a statement he later publicly apologized for in a formal statement to the Anti-Defamation League.

Green has also been reported as a massive donor to the National Christian Foundation, an organization that promotes anti-LGBTQ efforts.  

Hobby Lobby drew additional ire in 2020 when it illegally reopened stores in states with stay-at-home mandates calling for the closure of non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Green allegedly told employees in March the decision to keep Hobby Lobby stores open was informed by a message from God bestowed upon his wife Barbara Green. 

By April, Hobby Lobby moved to officially close all stores and furlough employees, after several spoke out that they feared for their lives by being forced to continue working.

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