Recently, a woman known as Ulya Azhari tried to call on her Twitter followers to show “Malaysia’s boycotting power” towards IKEA because the Swedish furniture brand promoted its rainbow-themed Storstomma carrier bag.
A twist on its famous blue Frakta bag, the rainbow Storstomma was launched in conjunction with Pride Month and in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). All profits will be donated to charities supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
However, what seemed like a sensible call to action by her, was instead met with criticism and sarcasm by many netizens.
In the tweet, she shared a poster from an IKEA store in the United States promoting their Pride-themed Storstomma bags.
“Does IKEA want to see that Malaysians have the power to boycott? Take down this poster or we will buy nothing from you @IKEA. From: Malaysian,” she wrote.
The poster stated that the company pledged to donate 30% of bag sales to the Ali Forney Centre and the Los Angeles LGBT Centre in the United States. Both charities provide support to the LGBTQ community who often lack access to housing and healthcare services.
The tweet has since been deleted as it backfired but was re-uploaded by Ulya on 5 July with a new caption that said, “You want to bash me, go ahead. You want to condemn me, go ahead… I will block anyone that leaves pornographic videos on my tweet. I will fight LGBT to the end!”
While the tweet drew criticism again for its homophobic sentiment, many Twitter users also said Ulya was kicking up an unnecessary fuss as the bag is not even being sold in Malaysia. According to the IKEA website, the Storstomma bag is only available in the United States, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Others also criticised Ulya for bashing a company just because they are helping charities that provide basic human rights to vulnerable communities. Ulya responded by saying “not all good deeds are correct” and compared IKEA’s charitable initiative to the act of stealing to help the poor.
What’s funny though is when netizens started to troll her by welcoming Ulya’s initiative to boycott IKEA – as it would mean fewer crowds and a comfortable atmosphere for other shoppers. Some even sarcastically asked Ulya to boycott anything with a rainbow on it.
Check out some of the responses to the incident:
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