IKEA Admits To Cooperating With Russian Gay Purge

ikeaad3Bad news, IKEA fans: in most countries, your favorite prefab furniture company is more than happy to take your money; but say hello to them in Russia and they’ll pretend they don’t know who you are.

A company spokeswoman confirmed to a Swedish newspaper that the company has erased a lesbian couple from the Russian version of their catalog. (No word on what replaced them — maybe a hastily photoshopped image of Stalin hanging out with friends?)

According to the company, lawyers were concerned that depicting a happy queer couple would run afoul of the country’s antigay propaganda laws. You know, the same ones that Putin keeps insisting won’t hurt anyone, and only exist for the protection of children. Because heaven forbid the children see any strong, happy, healthy families amongst the medium-density fiberboard. And it’s not like purging entire demographic groups has ever gone poorly in Russia in the past.

If we had to come to IKEA’s defense, we might ask what choice they really had. After all, if they want to do business in a country, they have to follow the law. In essence, they’re “just following orders” — another historical reference with absolutely no negative baggage whatsoever.

Some alternatives that IKEA might have considered:

  • Leave the lesbians in but don’t identify them as lesbians, since some representation is better than nothing
  • Pledge to donate a portion of their Russian revenue to global LGBT civil rights initiatives
  • Publicly denounce the clearly unconscionable law
  • Troll the homophobes by filling the catalog exclusively with lesbians

Anyway, what are you going to do, stop shopping at IKEA? Haha, yeah right. Keep politely pestering those giants, gay gnats, they’ll notice you any day now.

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  • 2eo

    Do you like soulless, poorly made furniture often missing bits, lacking personality and character, do you loathe that a house is lived in and can be a warm home.

    If you believe that a house is to be tasteful, enjoyed and classy you certainly won’t shop at IKEA.

    I felt that way long before this, I banned my other half from IKEA furniture, I hate it.

  • yaletownman

    I have more reason that ever now not to buy that Ikea crap and there’s no “yeah right” to it. Ikea is in business to sell that junk and politely pestering them isn’t going to cut it. We’ve got to hurt their bottom line from this end to make them stop enabling the hate in Russia on that end.

  • Greg Garavani

    I should prepare for the backlash from the gays but this is so disappointing of IKEA, one company that I thought would actually fight for our community is just giving into those soulless Russian homophobes. I say this as I’m laying down on my bed and sheets from IKEA *sigh*

  • Stache1

    @2eo: Ha. I joke with my freinds that every fucking POS furniture I have from Ikea I won’t even bother moving to my next place. That craps falling apart without me even hardly touching it. No way it would survive a move.

    As far as this goes they’re just thinking of their bottom line=$. What if this was a jewish couple, black, asian, etc? Do you really think their wouldn’t be a massive boycott the very next day?

  • Elloreigh

    We went to an IKEA once to see what all the fuss was about. Didn’t buy a thing. Nothing appealed to us, and the layout made me feel like a rat in a maze. I have no desire to repeat that experience.

  • jimbryant

    Corporations will do anything to suck up to a customer base. They don’t have any principles except the principle of making money.

    IKEA sucks.

  • ShowMeGuy

    What are they supposed to do? Conduct business in a way which may be targeted by the gov’ment as being in violation of the laws or shut down and flee the nation? Neither option helps the LGBT community of Russia. Flaunting “pro-gay” images…whatever those are…in adverts could get IKEA or any company fined by the gov’ment. Do you really want pro-equality companies getting fined and adding money to the Russian bank account so it can fund more hate of the homosexual? How does that help anyone?

    And those of you who want to insult IKEA’s products….that does nothing to help the LGBT community either.

  • MK Ultra

    It’s unfortunate but we should expect more of this from big corporations.
    They’ll tell us how much they care about human rights and diversity, and how much they love the Gays, then they’ll turn around and tell the Russian audience that fags are nasty and they agree with the hate laws.
    I think gays involved in home design should trash Ikea to all their clients. Most of their products are trash anyways.

  • isafakir

    ikea is junk, pure and simple. now i can promise never to darken their door or waste my money there. cowards without any principles.

  • Stache1

    So what if they were fined? They could’ve made a statement about how unjust this law is and how they were being forced to remove it. Them being silently proactive does not help us in any way.

  • Spike

    That does it, I’m boycotting Ikea. Given I haven’t stepped foot in the place since I realized that I could afford real furniture, and that those Swedish meat balls sucked, shouldn’t be a problem.

  • AuntieChrist

    I never liked their stuff…. Always thought it looked cheap and flimsy. It’s best to buy well made good quality furnishings…. If you are on a budget like us it takes time but it’s totally worth it in the long run. Momma always said, you get what you pay for.

  • Red_Dragon_888

    Meatballs yes, Real Balls NO!!

  • jpcflyer

    I think we can all agree on the pernicious effects of censorship. Kind of like covering up men’s penises in classic photos…?

  • Cyn

    Yes, Ikea is junk that doesn’t last but that is all a lot of people can afford now. Should they abandon the entire Russian market? No. Should they out Russian homosexuals? No. Why not use the lovely British lesbian couple, or the German one, or the American one? There you have it. If they do, they may lose market share in Russia or all of Russia if they do. I cannot look at their books and see if this would cause irreparable harm to their bottom line. But of course it’s profit driven, even in Russia. So while it is all honorable to not out gay Russians in the current climate there, Ikea is acting like the for profit corporation it is.

    Me, I’ll shop flea markets before giving them any of my money.

  • MK Ultra

    When corporations like Ikea get their PR staff to come on sites like this and defend their actions as “honorable”, it only makes said corporations look even more despicable. Honorable? SMH. Bad PR.
    Ikea just gave a huge F U to LGBT everywhere.

  • Eiswirth

    You’ve given me another reason to avoid that dump.

  • jwtraveler

    The article is about a lesbian couple being purged from an Ikea catalog. Why is it illustrated with a picture of a gay male couple? It seems as if Queerty is collaborating with Ikea.

  • BlogShag

    Cheaply made, spiritless , pressed plywood-like furniture is right. They had us driving back 5 times because the work centerpiece table we bought for the kitchen was missing parts and fasteners. I was sooo fumed. To top it off, the huge pathetic piece of trash furniture once put together, is so light it slides across the kitchen floor with the touch of a finger.

    Bye IKEA, don’t want to shop at your stank get lost in maze, fire hazard waitin’ to happen store anyhow when I can get a much more pleasant experience at Mathis Brothers or Living Spaces.

    And not too long ago in our “FREE” country the USA use to treat any group that wasn’t male and WHITE the same way, so the shock some exhibit is quite phony.

  • BlogShag

    @isafakir: The only reason you should want to go there, is to eat their balls and savor their berries, ’cause their furniture sho- enuf ain’t worth your dime. It is so ghetto cheap.

  • BlogShag

    @2eo: Oh, but it’s cool in the USA, ’cause it’s Euro, collegiate looking and hip :/

    I don’t get it either. Their stuff is very tacky, cheap and gross. But hey, Kmart is very successful too

  • ho

    IKEA? What’s that?

  • Merv

    People get Ikea because they can’t afford better. There’s no need to trash people for being poor.

  • junk4sts

    IKEA is very likely following the law because IKEA has a large presence in Russia, a large presence means that it employs a lot of people and hosts lots of customers in it’s stores. IKEA is not a company that is going to put it’s employees it’s customers or it’s property at risk. For them to willingly and knowingly break the law or even come out against it in Russia, is to put innocent people at risk. I don’t believe this is just about profit, I think this is IKEA a large employer doing what it can to keep it’s company and people safe from a government that can be very “not nice” when it wants to. Also IKEA has a large investment in Russia with their ‘MEGA’ malls, this means that they have a lot of exposure in Russia. I think their only mistake was bringing this up in the first place, removing one picture from a catalog is hardly something to boycott a company over.

  • DMingledorff

    You sound like a apologist for Putin. There are many ways to deal with this and your comments don’t offer s single constructive idea. Whereas many others, aside from the critiques of IKEA’s crap, do. You sound like someone still in the closet.

  • DMingledorff

    My previous comment was directed at SHOWMEGUY but it did not post adjacent to his comment. Sorry.

  • DMingledorff

    This is for JUNK4STS. Your logic is nice but flawed. It is precisely due to the fact that IKEA is SUCH a large company in Russia that they COULD get away with the catalogue. The Russians do not want to lose any company paying wages to their citizens. Had IKEA just let things go along as usual all would have been fine. They are trying to make points with Putin because they want some kind of favor. THAT’s how business works.

  • DMingledorff

    For 2e0. DITTO!!

  • alex

    IKEA is one of the most responsible companies on the planet, and their furniture is not crap. If it were crap, no one would be buying it over and over again. For people who can’t afford a $3,000 Italian leather couch, IKEA works.

    IKEA was actually founded on a very humanitarian principle, and they really do work to better the world. See linked article:

  • mezzacanadese

    A great percentage of Russian people are anti-gay, so obviously Ikea is afraid they won’t patronize their store if gay people are featured in the Russian version of their catalog. They are putting profits before human rights. I love Russia and am very sad knowing what is going on there.

Comments are closed.