charlitos saidI know the direct economic implications of boycotting a product will probably have no effect whatsoever in the economy of a nation like Russia. Think of it this way: We are talking about a well known Russian brand, something craved internationally by many. What are the consequences of boycotting Stoli, a product that Russia is popularly known for?
1 - Bartenders will be asked why they are no longer selling Russian Vodka, at that point they will have to explain to the customer that they are boycotting Russian products because of their new anti-gay laws. You would be surprised of how many people dont even know about this right now. Boycotting a popular brand will help spread the word faster and make people aware of this issue.
2 - Stoli will be under boycott pressure and likely than not they will make a desperate move in order to prove they are on the side of the Russian LGBT.; either by donating/sponsoring LGBT groups in Russia or by expressing their opposition in a way that matters.
3 - The people affected by this boycott definitely dont deserve the economic impact but I think the lives of millions of Russia's living in fear for the rest of their lives takes priority here.
4 - It is not just about Stoli, but its a damn good place to start. I have donated to LGBT groups in Russia, I am definitely boycotting their products for a matter of principle more than anything else. I see it as option A or B. A being a product coming from homophobia land or product B coming from a better place. It really isnt that difficult.
There might be times when the ends justifies the means without a loss of integrity. If someone had moral issues with prostitution but found themselves destitute and unable for whatever reason to find what they'd consider legitimate work, then selling sex might not impinge upon the integrity of how they normally conduct their life if it prevents the immediate and greater harm of starving to death. That takes the situation away from questioning integrity and into the realm of adaptability for survival's sake.
Is this that?
My problem with formulating an opinion here is that I don't know the facts. Their website locates them headquartered in Russia (merely for the purposes of marketing themselves as a Russian product?) but the interviewee insists they are now based outside (for the purposes of marketing to the gay community?).
He admits to having facilities there but says they are in the process of dismantling/relocating that. They were there before this bad policy was put into effect. Had they sought out a place homophobic to support with their headquarters, I'd feel differently.
He also stated that the part of their company, the very Russian-distributed Stoli you wish to attack, was stolen from them in court by Russia and that therefore this company is at odds with Russia. That alone could be impetus for them to piss Russia off by supporting gay rights there without a boycott of them here.
The owner and I think also the CEO have both expatriated their mother country though I don't know what is their citizenship. I'd imagine people sometimes leave the United States in protest while maintaining citizenship here.
I know that corporations will say anything. I know this interview was damage control. And I did not like how the interviewer was leading the CEO to answer certain questions in specific ways. At times though it did seem that the CEO didn't understand why he was even in this predicament, that the interviewer believed him innocent and tried to prove the point for him. That was certainly unprofessional on the part of the radio guy. Whether or not it was merely acting on the part of the CEO, I have no idea.
Not knowing all the facts actually, oddly, would make it easier for me to argue either side of this and so all I can go by is what I think I know at a very surface level and what little I could check on. I could check to see if they discriminate in their company here so I believe the interview when they said they do not.
The Stoli CEO states that they have a history of supporting gay rights and the gay community and I do not see anyone from our side denying that so I currently have no reason to not believe it.
Lastly, I do not sacrifice my friends for my benefit. I would rather die than dishonor. And I felt that way even before I was ever betrayed by friends. If this company is a friend of our community, if they are not part of the Russian establishment which is so hell bent on hurting us, then you do not send them out to take the bullet for you. Better to die first then live the life of a betrayer.
“We must conquer life by living it to the full, and then we can go to meet death with a certain prestige.” ~~Aleister Crowley