- People are pursuing a boycott of the grocery chain Publix over donations by Julie Jenkins Fancelli.
- Fancelli is said to have contributed money for the January 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot.
- Fancelli isn’t a Publix employee but is an heiress to the founding family’s fortune.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
People are calling for a boycott of Publix after The Wall Street Journal identified an heiress to the Southern grocery empire as the top donor to the Trump rally that preceded the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
Julie Jenkins Fancelli, an heiress to the Publix founding family’s nearly $US9 billion fortune, has donated millions of dollars to Republican causes and candidates. On January 30, The Journal reported that Fancelli contributed $US300,000 of the roughly $US500,000 total raised for President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally.
Publix has a dedicated fan base, but The Guardian reported Monday that Fancelli’s contribution to the rally had turned off many loyal customers. On Monday, the hashtag #BoycottPublix was trending on Twitter, with many users expressing outrage and claiming betrayal over Fancelli’s donation.
I know we can't put them out of business but we sure can hurt them maybe even force them to close some stores https://t.co/DyOmYdL6UF
— Bob south florida water man (@WaterDean) February 15, 2021
— Jordan Knash ????????????⚖️#ShutItDown (@JordanKnash) February 15, 2021
As a lifelong customer of Publix there’s no way in hell I’m going to keep making the Publix heiress rich with my money. Y’all got the exclusive COVID vaccine denying it to other chains man f this Whole Foods here I come! #BOYCOTTPUBLIX
— Neri Beats (@NeriBeats) February 15, 2021
Fancelli’s donation was facilitated by the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who donated $US50,000 to the rally, The Journal reported.
After the riot, corporations raced to cut ties with Trump and end donations to political candidates who supported Trump’s attempt to overturn his reelection defeat.
After the publication of the Journal article, Publix rapidly distanced itself from Fancelli in a Twitter statement, saying it did not employ her.
Publix Statement regarding Julie Fancelli: pic.twitter.com/SLYEe3Je5a
— Publix (@Publix) January 31, 2021
Fancelli is still president of the George Jenkins Foundation Inc., a nonprofit named after Publix’s founder that Publix says is not affiliated with the grocery chain. Since posting the statement on January 30, the Publix Twitter account â€” which previously posted about once a day â€” has been silent.
This isn’t the first time Publix-related political donations have courted controversy. The company came under fire after Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida awarded the chain an exclusive vaccine-distribution contract. This followed the Publix PAC donating $US100,000 to his campaign â€” a spokeswoman for DeSantis said any implication that the contract was a reward for the donation was “baseless and ridiculous,” per the Lakeland Ledger.
Leaders from predominantly Black communities throughout the state also criticised the contract, saying it deprived many Black Floridians of the chance to get vaccinated.
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