Hobby Lobby is facing new boycott threats over a photo of a store display urging customers to 'Vote Trump'

Shoppers are calling for a renewed boycott against Hobby Lobby.AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
  • Hobby Lobby is once again in hot water, this time in response to a now-viral photo — said to have been taken at one of its stores — showing a display of decorative letters that spell out "USA Vote Trump."
  • Several boycott efforts have been made against the company in the past decade in response to its controversial stances in areas such as reproductive rights and, more recently, coronavirus safety policies.
  • "I'm not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there," Kari Brekke, the author of a viral tweet sharing the photo, told Business Insider. "I'm a Democrat. I hate the company."
  • Some Twitter users pointed out that a customer may have arranged the letters rather than a store employee.
  • Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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Shoppers are once again calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts company that's no stranger to controversy.

The growing #BoycottHobbyLobby effort began picking up steam on social media on Sunday in response to a now-viral tweet shared by a user named Kari Brekke. In the tweet — which has more than 33,000 likes and more than 10,000 retweets — Brekke shared an image with the caption "In a Hobby Lobby" showing a display of decorative letters arranged to read "USA Vote Trump."

Brekke told Business Insider she did not take the photo but rather pulled it from a public post shared in a national Facebook group for the Lincoln Project, an organization started by former Republicans in 2019 dedicated to preventing President Donald Trump's reelection.

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Brekke said she did not have any additional information regarding who may have arranged the display nor where the photo was taken. Some other Twitter users pointed out that the letters would be free for customers to move around — in other words, a customer rather than an employee may be behind the display.

Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

"I'm not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there," Brekke told Business Insider. "I'm a Democrat. I hate the company."

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Calls to boycott the craft store were swift on Twitter, as users shared the image with captions like "I've never stepped foot in a Hobby Lobby and never will" along with the hashtag #BoycottHobbyLobby.

The blowback is just the latest in a smattering of outcries against the company in the past decade.

In 2012, the company faced widespread scrutiny for its efforts to deny access to contraceptives for employees. A high-profile Supreme Court case subsequently ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby's right to withhold reproductive benefits, determining that private companies were allowed to be exempt from the law on the basis of religious preferences.

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Hobby Lobby has also been the subject of boycotts in response to anti-Semitic and homophobic incidents. In 2013, the company's conservative Christian CEO and founder David Green apologized in a formal statement to the Anti-Defamation League after an employee told a customer Hobby Lobby did not carry products for Jewish holidays because it "doesn't cater to your people."

Green has also been reported to be a massive donor to the National Christian Foundation, an organization that promotes anti-LGBTQ efforts.

Hobby Lobby drew additional ire this year when it illegally reopened stores in states with stay-at-home mandates calling for the closure of nonessential businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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By April, Hobby Lobby moved to temporarily close all stores and furlough employees after several spoke out that they feared for their lives by being forced to continue working.

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