Anti-NRA Boycott Gaining Steam
More than a dozen companies have ended relationships with the gun rights organization and protesters are demanding more follow suit.
In the tragic wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, a wave of anti-NRA sentiment has led many corporations to sever their ties with the organization.
The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby group under pressure from a boycott movement following a Feb. 14 high school shooting.
Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United airlines on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.
But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the NRA accused companies of “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”
People are demanding more:
There is a growing list of companies who have decided to end their respective partnerships with the National Rifle Association following the tragic shooting death of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As of this writing Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku are not among the companies listed, but if an increasingly vocal number of anti-NRA and pro-gun control voices get their way, that might change. That’s because all four companies carry the organization’s streaming media arm, NRAtv, and opponents are calling for them to stop.
Variety first reported the matter on Thursday when the #StopNRAmazon hashtag began trending on social media. A day later the #StopNRApple hashtag began trending as well, and while its corporate focus was entirely different than its predecessor, both carried the weight of the same argument — stop streaming NRAtv or else. When reached for comment, representatives from Amazon, Apple, and Google did not respond to Variety. A Roku spokesperson, however, told the outlet they were “an open platform for streaming and allow publishers to reach a TV audience,” and that they will continue to carry NRAtv for the moment.
Needless to say, the general silence from these companies didn’t sit well with those who first raised the issue on Twitter. So as USA Today reports, a petition specifically targeting Amazon Prime’s carrying of NRAtv was launched. “We must remember to respect the First Amendment above all else,” read the petition, which currently boasts over 22,500 signatures. “If NRA members want to watch NRA TV, they can find it without Amazon’s promotion. There is no place in your home for brands that earn money through the NRA.”
As longtime readers might guess, I find this troubling.
I was unaware that there was an NRAtv show and would, in any event, not be its target audience. But, presumably, various services which provide access to broadcast content include the channel because there’s a sufficient audience demand to make carrying it profitable. Channels without the ability to attract an audience go away. The notion that they should be taken off the air on the basis of the content of their speech is illiberal, if not un-American.