- Facebook,Amazon,Google, and 22 other companies are listed as “prospective corporate sponsors” for a Straight Pride parade taking place next month in Boston.
- More than 15 of the companies contacted by Business Insider say they do not plan to sponsor the parade, and some say the organisers never reached out to them in the first place.
- Here is what each of the companies on the website say about sponsoring the event, and any connection to the Straight Pride parade.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
At least 16 companies listed as “prospective corporate sponsors” for a planned Straight Pride Parade in Boston say they have no plans to sponsor or participate in the August event.
Super Happy Fun America, the anti-LGBTQ nonprofit organisation behind the parade, recently posted a list of “prospective corporate sponsors” for the parade to its website. The 25 companies in the list include several tech companies, including Netflix, Google, Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, Lyft, and Yelp.
Six of the companies on the sponsorship list have already contacted the organisers and had their names crossed out on the website. Netflix recently wrote a scathing cease-and-desist letter to Super Happy Fun America, telling the organisers that the streaming service’s legal department “is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”
Business Insider reached out to the remaining 19 companies listed, and many of them told us they have no plans to participate in or sponsor the event. Some of the companies told Business Insider they have sent cease-and-desist letters to the organisers for using their names and logos on the Straight Pride website.
Furthermore, some said they were never contacted by the organisers in the first place about potential sponsorship. However, Super Happy Fun America president John Hugo told Business Insider that claim is “absurd” and “absolutely a lie.”
“That’s a lie, we sent them all emails,” Hugo said. “We are not anti-gay. We are pro-straight, there’s a big difference.”
Here’s what each of the 25 companies listed as “prospective corporate sponsors” have to say about their inclusion on the Straight Pride Parade’s website:
Amazon says it’s not aware of organisers reaching out to the e-commerce company to request it sponsor Straight Pride, and that it has no plans to sponsor the event.
Bank of America
Bank of America’s logo is currently crossed out on the Super Happy Fun America list of prospective corporate sponsors.
The bank did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s said they’re aware their logo is being used on the website. Super Happy Fun America reached out to the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation – the ice cream chain’s grassroots activism nonprofit – to ask it to be a sponsor, but the Straight Pride organisers did not reach out to the corporation itself, the company said.
Even if they did reach out, Ben & Jerry’s would decline, spokesperson Laura Peterson wrote in an email to Business Insider.
“We are not a prospective sponsor, and we have asked them to remove our logo,” Peterson said. “Our values have not changed over the past 40 years, and we have been very clear about what we support: marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, and ‘Love is Love.'”
Best Buy did not receive a sponsorship request from the Straight Pride organisers, spokesperson Boua Xiong told Business Insider.
“Even if we did we would never sponsor anything like this,” Xiong said. “We deeply believe that diversity and inclusion is not just a good thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”
Camping World, which sells RV campers, told Business Insider that the organisers did not reach out to the company about sponsoring Straight Pride, and that Camping World is not considering being a sponsor for the event.
Facebook did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Gillette’s logo has been crossed out on the organisers’ website.In its blog post, Super Happy Fun America wrote: “Gillette has declined to sponsor the parade. That was a close shave.”
In a statement to Business Insider, Gillette spokesperson Julia LaFeldt said: “We’ve been in touch with this organisation, requesting that they remove any mention of Gillette as well as our logo from the website, and have declined sponsoring their event.”
Google has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
“We are not affiliated with this event, nor were we contacted by the organisers at all,” Grubhub spokesperson Brendan Lewis told Business Insider. “We sent them a Cease & Desist letter earlier [Thursday], and fully expect them to comply with our requests to take down our logo and any mention of our company.”
Heineken has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
JPMorgan Chase’s logo is crossed out on the list of prospective corporate sponsors. According to Super Happy Fun America’s blog post, the investment bank filed a “fraudulent violation complaint” against the organisers, which resulted in web hosting service Bluehost taking down the Super Happy Fun America website.
The organisers’ website now uses “a new host that respects free speech,” Super Happy Fun America says.
“Given their hateful response, we are withdrawing our offer to sponsor the parade,” Super Happy Fun America wrote in its blog post.
JPMorgan Chase did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
“We are not in negotiations with and we will not sponsor ‘Straight Pride’, which goes against our values of inclusivity and acceptance,” Lyft said in a statement to Business Insider.
Marriott has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Business Insider that the company is not a sponsor of Straight Pride. The company did not provide any further detail about whether organisers reached out.
National Football League
The NFL has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Business Insider reported Thursday that Netflix declined to sponsor the Straight Pride parade.
In a scathing email to Super Happy Fun America, Netflix wrote that the organisation was not allowed to use streaming service’s logo in any of its materials, and that it viewed doing so as “spreading misinformation about Netflix’s involvement or sponsorship” of the parade.
“You should know that we’re unafraid of bullies,” Netflix wrote in the email, which parade organisers posted on its website. “Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”
Nike declined to comment to Business Insider.
Instead, the company’s spokesperson pointed us toward Nike’s BETRUE initiative to support LGBTQ organisations and its purpose message, which includes: “Equality isn’t a game. But achieving it will be our greatest victory. Until we all win.”
PepsiCo, Pepsi’s parent company, has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Starbucks’ response to Business Insider’s question was short and to the point: “No.”
The logo for State Street, a banking firm, is crossed out on Super Happy Fun America’s website. In its blog post, the organisers write: “State Street respectfully declined our offer. We hope they will reconsider next year!”
State Street has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
TripAdvisor said the organisers’ claims they’re “in negotiations” with the travel company to sponsor the event are “completely false.”
TripAdvisor sent a cease-and-desist letter Friday morning to Super Happy Fun America. In a copy of the letter provided to Business Insider, TripAdvisor ordered organisers to remove any mentions of the company’s name, trademark, and logo from its website within 24 hours.
The letter includes at least 15 references to songs that are commonly denoted as pride anthems within the LGBTQ community.
“You Need To Calm Down – you are not sponsored by, associated or affiliated with TripAdvisor in any way, and thus, your use of our marks could confuse the public as to an affiliation with TripAdvisor,” the cease-and-desist letter says. “Have A Little Respect and remove those statements. TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event. There is nothing Vogue or acceptable about making false claims about others merely to support your own cause. If I Could Turn Back Time, I would tell you not to use our name in the first place.”
“We have not and will not have any discussions with them,” a Tumblr spokesperson wrote in an email to Business Insider. “We sent them a cease & desist notice for using our intellectual property without approval.”
Twitter has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Yelp confirmed that it has not been “in correspondence” with Super Happy Fun America.
“Yelp is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and is a member of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” a Yelp spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “We have designed our workplace policies to match our values.”
Neither YouTube nor its parent company, Google, has responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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