Neil Young might be a 76-year-old rocker, but he’s still starting trends with his decision to pull his catalog from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast. Do celebrity boycotts matter? Here are five that forced business’ hands, sparking change and conversation.
#5: George Clooney boycotts Dorchester Hotels
The Oscar-winning actor led a boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, which include the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. He was protesting a cruel law in the country: death by stoning and whipping for gay sex and adultery. When the boycott gained ground in 2019, the Sultan eventually announced a moratorium on the executions.
#4: Danny Glover boycotts Hugo Boss
In 2010, Glover urged celebrities to boycott the brand at that year’s Academy Awards, fighting an impending factory closure in Cleveland where more than 300 people were set to lose their jobs. The high-profile pressure eventually worked and the factory stayed open for several more years.
#3: Stars boycott #OscarsSoWhite
Speaking of the Academy Awards, the #OscarsSoWhite social movement took off after the Oscars awarded all 20 acting nods to white actors in 2015 and 2016. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith were among those to sit out the 2016 ceremony, and the spotlight pushed the Academy to vow to better diversify its mostly-white voting body.
#2: Miley Cyrus boycotts Abercrombie & Fitch
Cyrus threatened to burn her A&F attire over the company’s size exclusivity, and the boycott caught fire. Then the company’s CEO was exposed for old remarks about wanting to market only to “cool, good looking people.” In the end, A&F offered plus sizes and the CEO was fired.
#1: Celebrities boycott social media
In 2020, celebrities like Kim Kardashian boycotted the one thing they can’t live without. For one day, stars like Kim K. signed off of Facebook and Instagram for #StopHateForProfit, an effort to fight misinformation. While the impact may have been minimal, the megaphone of major celebrities brought attention to the issue.
SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: NEIL YOUNG MIGHT BE A 76-YEAR-OLD ROCKER, BUT HE’S STILL STARTING TRENDS – WITH HIS DECISION TO PULL HIS CATALOG FROM SPOTIFY OVER JOE ROGAN’S PODCAST. DO CELEBRITY BOYCOTTS MATTER? HERE’S SOME THAT SPARKED CHANGE IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.
AT NUMBER FIVE, WE HAVE GEORGE CLOONEY’S BOYCOTT OF HOTELS OWNED BY THE SULTAN OF BRUNEI – WHICH INCLUDE THE FAMOUS BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL. HE WAS PROTESTING A CRUEL LAW IN THE COUNTRY – DEATH BY STONING AND WHIPPING FOR GAY SEX AND ADULTERY. WHEN THE BOYCOTT GAINED GROUND IN 2019, THE SULTAN EVENTUALLY ANNOUNCED A MORATORIUM ON THE EXECUTIONS.
COMING IN AT NUMBER 4, DANNY GLOVER’S 2010 BOYCOTT OF HUGO BOSS. GLOVER URGED CELEBRITIES TO BOYCOTT THE BRAND AT THAT YEAR’S ACADEMY AWARDS, FIGHTING A FACTORY CLOSURE IN CLEVELAND WHERE MORE THAN 300 PEOPLE WERE SET TO LOSE THEIR JOBS. THE PRESSURE EVENTUALLY WORKED, AND THE FACTORY STAYED OPEN FOR SEVERAL MORE YEARS.
SPEAKING OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS, IN THE THREE SPOT, WE HAVE HASHTAG OSCARS SO WHITE. THE SOCIAL MOVEMENT TOOK OFF AFTER THE OSCARS AWARDED ALL 20 ACTING NODS TO WHITE ACTORS IN 2015 AND 2016. WILL AND JADA PINKETT SMITH WERE AMONG THOSE TO SIT OUT THE 2016 CEREMONY, AND THE ACADEMY VOWED TO BETTER DIVERSIFY ITS MOSTLY-WHITE VOTING BODY.
AT NUMBER TWO – WE HAVE MILEY CYRUS THREATENING TO BURN HER ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH. SHE AND OTHER CELEBRITIES WERE BOYCOTTING THE COMPANY’S SIZE EXCLUSIVITY. THEN THE COMPANY’S CEO CAME UNDER FIRE FOR OLD REMARKS ABOUT WANTING TO MARKET TO ONLY “COOL, GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE.” IN THE END, A&F OFFERED PLUS SIZES AND THE CEO WAS…FIRED.
IN OUR TOP SPOT, CELEBRITIES LIKE KIM KARDASHIAN BOYCOTTING THE ONE THING THEY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT – SOCIAL MEDIA. FOR ONE DAY IN 2020 CELEBRITIES LIKE KIM K SIGNED OFF OF FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM FOR HASHTAG STOP HATE FOR PROFIT, AN EFFORT TO FIGHT MISINFORMATION. I GOTTA SAY, THE IMPACT ON THIS ONE – MINIMAL.
BUT I GUESS THE PURPOSE OF ANY CELEBRITY BOYCOTT – IS TO MAKE NOISE WITH THE MEGAPHONE THEY’VE BEEN GIVEN. I’M SDR, IN NEW YORK FOR JB. I’ll SEE YOU MONDAY.