Toronto Diary
1 min

Ikea dumps lesbian catalogue feature in Russia due to anti-gay law

Oh, Ikea . . . what happened? You were the first company to ever feature a gay couple in one of your televison commercials, and yet you’ve kind of been dropping the ball of late. Earlier this year, you ran an ad in Thailand that ended up coming across as transphobic, and now you’ve scrapped an article from your Russian catalogue because it portrayed a lesbian couple.

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Et tu, Ikea?

Ikea had planned to run an article in its consumer magazine, Ikea Live, about the daily lives of a lesbian couple and their family. However, the company reversed its decision in accordance with Russia’s anti-gay-propaganda policy.

According to Gay Star News, spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson explained Ikea’s decision, saying that they “have two guiding principles in the communication we distribute from IKEA. The first is home interior design. The second is following the law."

The problem here isn’t that Ikea is homophobic — although their advertising department could use a talking to — so much as Russia’s anti-gay-propaganda law did exactly what it’s supposed to do: it all but forces allies to turn their backs on the gay community for fear of punishment. It’s bad enough when society allows prejudice to succeed because of a mistake; it’s even worse when it allows prejudice to succeed because that’s exactly what it was built to do.