During June, companies will often promote LGBTQ+ diversity through Pride campaigns.
However, this year high-profile organizations like Anheuser-Busch, Target and the Los Angeles Dodgers have faced backlash for collaborating with LGBTQ+ individuals.
The decisions made by corporations when it comes to advertisements and marketing are thought through carefully. Sometimes companies will bring on consultants like Rex Wilde to help figure out how to send the right message and how to implement practices for their businesses.
Wilde joined “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen to talk about the recent backlash companies have faced during Pride month.
“We tell [companies] that we need to make sure that their actions are in alignment with what they’re showing publicly,” Wilde said.
Wilde said companies need to make sure that they go beyond just adding a rainbow-colored version of their logo and actually implement internal policies that create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ people.
From an external perspective, Wilde said companies also need to make sure they are standing up for the LGBTQ+ community.
For example, The Dodgers initially uninvited the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their Pride Night celebration after facing backlash from faith-based organizations. The Sisters are a group of queer and trans people who dress like nuns and use religious imagery.
The Sisters were reinvited for the Pride Night festivities after backlash from the LGBTQ+ community.
“One of the things that I would have told [The Dodgers] first is their initial inclination to be supportive of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is exactly what they want to do,” Wilde said.
At the center of the controversy between the Dodgers and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was the fact the group focuses on Christianity.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw criticized the group for making fun of the Catholic religion. Kershaw then announced the Dodgers will be resuming the Christian Faith and Family day.
“I think that goes back to seeing a lot of folks have a misunderstanding of things like what the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are doing,” Wilde said.
Major corporations like Target and Anheuser-Busch have also faced anti-LGBTQ+ protests, which has both impacted stock prices and has led to concerns for worker’s safety.
“It’s a really simple solution. They need more security,” Wilde said. “They’re having people who are coming in and vandalizing their stores.”
Another area of concern for Wilde is companies during Pride Month doing “Rainbow Washing.” This is where a company hangs a Pride flag as a symbolic gesture of support, but then donates money to anti-LGBTQ nonprofits and political campaigns.
“We want to make sure that what we’re seeing from companies if they’re going to be putting rainbow Pride flags up and saying that they support the LGBTQ community, is actually ensuring that they’re also supporting the health, safety and well-being from a political and legislative perspective as well,” Wilde said.
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