Fifteen hundred Amazon shareholders are asking Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, to reject Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s bigoted bullying and end the sale of Trump’s line of menswear and other Trump-related products on Amazon. This comes ahead of the Amazon’s annual general meeting later this month.
The shareholders, organized by UltraViolet Action, an online community of over 700,000 men and women who take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public, private sectors and on social media, have said that Donald Trump has incited violence at his campaign events, spewed racism and vitriol that has attached the support of notable white supremecists, defamed a female reporter after she was assaulted by his campaign manager, and mocked a disabled reporter for asking a question.
“Donald Trump has consistently lobbed racist, sexist and xenophobic attacks against entire groups of people, encouraged violence and vitriol against his political enemies and perpetrated a culture of violence against women,” said Karin Roland, Chief Campaigns Officer at UltraViolet Action, in a press release.
“This isn’t about politics: Donald Trump’s misogyny, racism and outright bigotry are dominating the political news cycle,” Amazon shareholders wrote in a letter to Bezos. “[Trump] has encouraged violence at his rallies, mocked his opponent’s wife, ridiculed people disabilities, and even refused to denounce his campaign manager who was recently arrested for violently assaulting a female reporter.”
Shareholders said they felt strongly about ending its business with Trump and that his hatred should have no place in the Amazon marketplace, and that the continued presence of his products poses a risk to Amazon’s reputation.
Despite the massive public outcry, and other major brands dumping Trump, Amazon continues to sell Trump ties and shirts. UltraViolet Action argues that Amazon is profiting off the sale of Trump merchandise associated with Trump’s hateful brand and should take immediate steps to end the relationship.
In addition, to the letter from Amazon customers and Amazon Prime subscribers, more than 58,000 UltraViolet Action members have petitioned for Amazon to stop profiting off Donald Trump’s hateful brand and dump Trump merchandise from the marketplace.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has faced controversy over merchandise sold on its marketplace. Last June, Amazon saw “skyrocketing” sales of Confederate flags after other retailers decided to stop selling them, spiking 3,000% in 24 hours. However, Amazon joined other retailers in banning sales of the controversial symbol.
The removal of the flags came in the wake of the horrific incident at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC., in which nine people were shot dead by a lone gunman.
Trump merchandise has been pulled from shelves before. Last July, Macy’s announced it was pulling Trump branded merchandise after he made inflammatory and racially charged statements directed towards immigrants from Mexico, calling them “killers and rapists.”