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Ikea under fire for removing lesbian interview from magazine in Russian edition to ‘remain neutral’

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  1. It’s time to get the word out that IKEA wants to remain neutral on issues of Human and Civil rights except for in certain markets where taking a supportive stance boosts sales.

    1. IKEA is not the only one. FORD is sponsoring the praise film about one of the known homophobes, Alexander Kravtsov, the CEO of “Expedition” company. This man has never hidden the fact he’s a homophobe, he’s fired people on the grounds of homosexuality and all their job vacancies demand the applicant be strictly hetero.

      And now Ford is funding the PR campaign, calling this man “a legend”.
      Money don’t smell, or so they say.

      More here: (it’s in Russian, sorry).

  2. So they want to remain “neutral” while not being neutral and making themselves a target for boycott around the world? Yeah, that makes complete sense!

    They removed this because of the state-sanctioned Human rights abuses in Russia, in a stupid attempt to prevent any backlash in that country, but instead have angered many more customers OUTSIDE of Russia.

    Whoever made this decision needs to be fired, not only because they seem to support this homophobia, but because they clearly are not capable of making a rational decision in the best interests of the company.

    Instead of upsetting a few people in homophobic Russia, they’ve upset many more hundreds of thousands of people all around the world and now face a boycott of their products.

    Incidentally, when the f**k did kids start buying furniture? Kids in our own countries are not likely to be the audience for Ikea marketing materials, let alone in Russia where the average income is under $600 per month!

  3. Brett Gibson 20 Nov 2013, 5:28pm

    Are we really surprised? Not so long ago I remember seeing an article about Ikea removing all women from their Saudi Arabian catalogues. Big boss men go with the dollar, they don’t care about anything else. #greed

  4. vversatile 20 Nov 2013, 5:42pm

    Do I kea really want to p|ss off their gay customers? They’re going the right way about it.

  5. Tim Chapman 20 Nov 2013, 5:51pm

    Another brand on my blacklist. Not that I’ve allowed anything in my house that requires an allen key for years, so all I can do is to encourage others not to shop there.

  6. My partner and I have done a lot of shopping at Ikea over the years here in Canada. No more! Ikea can rot in hell along with their cheapy chipboard furniture from now on as far as I’m concerned. Maybe they should start serving Barilla pasta at their in-store restaurants.

  7. IKEA has never made any attempts to attract the ‘pink pound’. It’s TV ads, brochures and stores are more family-centric than other companies. Its founder was involved in a Swedish fascist movement, well after WWII had ended. According to Wikipedia, in a 2010 interview, he claimed that a fascist acquaintance was “a great man”. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company is very keen in ensuring it doesn’t offend homophobic Russians. By explaining the reason for removing the interview is to “remain neutral”, it tells us where the company’s inclinations lie, because removing the interview is most definitely not “neutral”. At the very least it’s being tolerant of human rights abusers. It’s astonishing that the company’s spokesperson could believe that the explanation given is good PR and won’t p!ss-off LGBT people. I guess we’re outnumbered by the number of potential customers living in Russia.

  8. You know, I’ve never really liked Ikea. My brother & sister-in-law love it and I went there once on their recomendation. Almost all the stuff I wanted was out of stock, almost all the staff I encountered were extremely unhelpful and one guy was downright rude when I simply asked for directions. I’ve never been back. The only good thing about it was the really cute checkout guy!

    Seriously, though, it’s disappointing but not at all surprising that a big company like Ikea puts money before morals. Maybe a boycott by gay customers would make them realise their mistake.

  9. “We think that our operations in Russia can, in the long run, have a positive effect on society,” Oh, lovely. They ARE concerned about ‘society’. But whose…….

  10. Aleksis Costa 21 Nov 2013, 8:41am

    Oh my… my entire home is ikea.. I even feel uncomfortable looking around or even siting on my ikea sofa. No more IKEA for me thats for sure. I feel betrayed by our sweedish neighbours. Well finland has been pretty much silent on the whole “gay propaganda” thing in russia aswell so I guess no one really cares in here and this subject will go unnoticed here. Really angers me how little we care of human dignity in our neighbouring russia. I mean they come to helsinki by a couple of hours train ride every day and buy things here tax free. It is not like we don’t have anything to do with it.

  11. Under the “gay propaganda” law, the maximum fine for corporate entities is 1,000,000 RUB (~30,000 USD). I’m sure IKEA could pay that if they were found to be in violation of the law—it’s not like the management would be put in jail. In fact, I’m pretty sure they would not be found guilty. I even think there would be no investigation at all. But if there were an investigation, IKEA would likely win.

    You see, Russian “courts” treat foreign businesses quite differently than Russian citizens—the former actually have a chance of winning. The article did not “promote” being lesbian in any way, it simply featured lesbians, so technically it did not violate the law. While such formal (and correct) argument would surely be dismissed when judging Russian LGBT person, it could work for a large multinational.

    IKEA had a chance to “put the foot in the door” and normalize at least simple depictions of LGBT people, but they chose self-censorship. Shame on them.

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