Feb 23, 2009 7:51 PM GMT
PepsiCo announced Wednesday morning a multiyear distribution deal with the makers of the energy drink Rockstar, prompting calls among gay rights activists for a company-wide boycott.
Rockstar was co-created by Dr. Michael Weiner, better known as conservative radio host Michael Savage, who has often broadcast antigay tirades, referring to gay callers as “sodomites” who should “get AIDS and die.”
His equally conservative wife, Janet, serves as the company’s CFO, while his son Russell -- cofounder of the Paul Revere Society, which campaigns for the deportation of all illegal immigrants -- serves as the CEO.
Savage has been equally outspoken on issues including abortion and autism, once defining an autistic child as “a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out.”
Earlier this year, it was the antigay American Family Association calling for a boycott of PepsiCo after the company donated a combined $1 million to the Human Rights Campaign and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
"We were indeed surprised by PepsiCo's support of the homosexual group," the AFA's Donald E. Wildmon wrote in October about the $500,000 donation to PFLAG. "It would appear to us that PepsiCo would not involve itself in a political and culture war, especially supporting an organization seeking to redefine marriage and family."
A statement released by PepsiCo today said of the deal with the energy drink manufacturer: "Rockstar is a major milestone in our bid to become the undisputed category leader in energy drinks. We're moving assertively to the front of the energy drink pack." (Ross von Metzke, Advocate.com)
I find this upsetting because PepsiCo has stood up for gay rights in the past and gone above and beyond the call for equality in the work place. This is a huge step backwards.
I'm more of a coffee person but I think i'll be mixing my vodka with Red Bull from now on.