You may recall how IKEA recently purged LGBTs from its Russian marketing materials due to the country’s insane anti-gay laws. Now a group of activists in New York are doing what they can to draw attention to the company’s collusion with Russian authorities.
Because the company wiped couples from their pages, this weekend the group created their own images of gay couples enjoying IKEA furniture. They popped into the chain’s store in Brooklyn for an impromptu photo shoot, sneaking kisses amongst the futons and and shelves.
The photos by Alexander Kargaltsev show the couples just living their lives, sitting around like normal human beings. Apparently these are the kinds of dangerous images that could completely destabilize Russia.
So far, IKEA hasn’t made any sort of attempt to reconcile with LGBTs. They haven’t apologized. They haven’t denounced Russia’s anti-gay laws. They haven’t pledged any resources toward standing up for civil rights. They haven’t made much of a peep at all. So, clearly they take this issue very seriously.
For a company that was one of the first to use gay families in their marketing, suddenly IKEA’s not exactly a profile in courage.
Will one little protest have much of an impact? Well, it’s hard to say. Everyone was all up in arms about Stoli a few months ago, and all those punishing laws are still on the books. Kiss-ins and boycotts are all very nice, but at the end of the day IKEA can probably rightly assume that the issue will blow over soon enough.
Still, it kind of hurts to look at the credenza in the living room and know that it was made by people who would sell us out to Putin at a moment’s notice. Oh well.