Some 1,500 holders of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) have signed on to a letter calling for the online retailer to stop selling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s menswear line. The shareholder effort is spearheaded by UltraViolet Action, which describes itself as a community of people from all walks of life mobilized to fight sexism and expand women’s rights.
The group succeeded in persuading Amazon to stop selling a “zombie ex-girlfriend” shooting target that many advocates said promoted domestic violence and violence against women. Ultraviolet Action has included email message text on its website that can be sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, encouraging him to join companies like Macy’s, PVH and others in dumping Trump.
The shareholder letter is also addressed to Bezos:
As an Amazon shareholder, I feel strongly that Amazon must end its business with Donald Trump. His hatred should have no place in the Amazon marketplace, and the continued presence of his products poses a risk to Amazon’s reputation.
This isn’t about politics: Donald Trump’s misogyny, racism, and outright bigotry are dominating the political news cycle. He has encouraged violence at his rallies, mocked his opponent’s wife, ridiculed people with disabilities, and even refused to denounce his campaign manager who was recently arrested for violently assaulting a female reporter.
Last year, Macy’s stopped selling Donald Trump’s menswear line in response to his comments calling Mexicans “rapists.” It’s long past time for Amazon to follow Macy’s lead, and sever its ties with Trump immediately.
Karin Rowland, UltraViolet’s chief campaigns officer, said:
Donald Trump has consistently lobbed racist, sexist, and xenophobic attacks against entire groups of people, encouraged violence and vitriol against his political enemies and perpetuated a culture of violence against women. Amazon.com should want to distance themselves from this hateful rhetoric, but instead, they’re profiting off his brand.
Amazon’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for May 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in Seattle. There are three shareholder proposals already on the meeting agenda. The company has recommended voting against all three.