Sometimes the voices of the rich and famous are the only ones that will be heard. It’s a sad reality but one that many celebs recognize. When it came to the issues that mattered to them they boycotted in protest against the forces of social injustice, violence in movies, invasion of privacy, and bigoted, insensitive apparel brands. In light of the Stevie Wonder-led boycott of Florida following the Zimmerman trial, we thought we’d see which other celebrities took a stand for the causes they believed in.
Stevie Wonder Boycotts Florida
In the wake of George Zimmerman’s “not guilty” verdict for the death of Trayvon Martin, Stevie Wonder is boycotting the state of Florida until the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law is abolished. He even took it one step further saying, “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.” The soul legend has even galvanized a myriad of other popular musicians to boycott as well, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Alicia Keys, and many more.
P!nk & Olivia Wilde Boycott Instagram
Jim Carrey Boycotts Kick A$$
Jim Carrey might be a comedian but he doesn’t joke when it comes violence. He recently decried his involvement in Kick A$$ 2 due to his changed views on violence following the Sandyhook shooting. He tweeted, “I did Kick A$$ a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscious I cannot support that level of violence.” He also apologized to the filmmakers, pointing out that he was not ashamed of the film. Some take his lack of support for the movie to mean that he will not be doing promotions for it, but if he’s contractually obligated this may be hard to get around.
Danny Glover Boycotts Hugo Boss
Danny Glover is the last person you’d expect to get fashion advice from, but at the 2010 Oscars the 67-year-old actor was telling his peers what not to wear. It wasn’t exactly fashion motivated, though. The actor called for a boycott of Hugo Boss at the Oscar ceremony due to the fashion house announcing that it would close its Ohio factory, leaving 400 people jobless. Glover and the Workers United teamed up to get other celebs to wear anything but Hugo Boss to the Oscars ceremony. Many went along with it, and in 2012 Hugo Boss signed a new contract with its Ohio employees.
Jay-Z Boycotts Cristal
The phrase “any publicity is good publicity” couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of the company that makes Cristal. Rouzaud admitted in a roundabout way that the attention and sales of the high-end champagne brought on by the rap community has devalued the brand saying, “…what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.” Jay-Z said he found Rouzaud’s comments rac1st, and announced that he would be pulling Cristal from his 40/40 lounges, and would not be drinking it anymore.
Ed Asner & Co. Boycott Zero Dark Thirty
Actors Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, and David Clennon joined forces to boycott Zero Dark Thirty at the 2013 Oscars and tried convince other Academy voters to do the same. The veteran actors claimed that the film advocated torture and “made it appear that torture was effective in the hunt for Osama bin Laden,” Asner said. A letter written to the Academy stated “We hope that ‘Zero’ will not be honored by Academy (or Guild) members.” The letter also asked members to factor in matters of conscience when casting awards votes. Whether or not it was a result of their campaigning, Zero Dark Thirty only won one out of the five awards it was nominated for at the Oscars.
Sophia Bush Boycotts Urban Outfitters
Abercrombie & Fitch isn’t the only apparel store under fire for being insensitive towards consumers. Urban Outfitters earned themselves a boycott from actress Sophia Bush over their “Eat Less” T-shirt. In a letter to the company Bush wrote: “Shame on you. I will no longer be shopping at your stores. And I will encourage the tens of thousands of female supporters I have to do the same.”
Ryan Murphy Boycotts Newsweek
The creator of Glee, Ryan Murphy, called for a boycott of Newsweek magazine following an article published about gay actors playing straight roles. The article called Jonathan Groff the “theater queen” of Glee and said that it’s “weird seeing Sean Hayes play straight.” Murphy penned an open letter calling the article “damaging, needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted.” Sounds like a bad movie review.
Korn & Co. Boycott BP Oil
Several celebrities including Lady Gaga boycotted BP after the calamitous gulf oil spill. The initial boycott was started by members of the rock band Korn. Lead singer Jonathan Davis justified the boycott saying, “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to the environment in U.S. history. From everything we’re hearing about now, it’s become clear that BP cut corners to put profit ahead of safety.”
Charilze Theron Boycotts Nobu
Charlize Theron and a group of other celebrities boycotted the Robert DeNiro-owned restaurant Nobu in London for serving the nearly-extinct bluefin tuna. A petition began circulating in 2012 along with the documentary End of the Line that exposes the dangers of overfishing. Though Nobu has not ceased selling bluefin tuna it has amended its menu to include a warning that the fish is unsustainable.
Jay-Z Boycotts The Grammys
In 2002 Jay-Z explained why he had boycotted the Grammys since 1999. Despite getting nominations and winning best rap album of the year the New York rapper said that it all started when they didn’t nominate DMX that year. “I didn’t feel that they gave the rightful respect to hip hop. DMX had an incredible album in 1999. He didn’t get a nomination. I was like, ‘Nah, that’s crazy!'” But Jay is not the first hip-hop act to boycott the Grammy’s…
Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff Boycott The Grammys
Back in 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) were the first rap act to win a Grammy, but the duo boycotted the ceremony in protest of the hip-hop portion of the show not being televised. They seemed to have set a precedent for other rap artists later boycotting the Grammys.
Sharon Osbourne Boycotts Louis Vutton
Animal lover Sharon Osbourne was so outraged by Louis Vutton’s foxtail handbag tassels that she encouraged fans to boycott the brand, tweeting “Louis Vuitton foxtail handbag accessories make me sick.” Osbourne is against all use of real fur in fashion, but Louis Vutton really got her goat…uhh, we mean fox.
Miley Cyrus Boycotts Abercrombie & Fitch
Hollywood’s elite is boycotting the elitist Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating against larger sized people. The backlash comes after the company’s chief executive said they only cater to the thin and cool. Kirstie Allie–who has publicly struggled with her weight–has said that she is banning her two children from shopping there, while Miley Cyrus vowed to burn all her Abercrombie “because they are stinking up my place.” Many celebs were inspired by Los Angles filmmaker Greg Karber, who scoured charity shops for Abercrombie clothing and handed them to homeless people in hopes of giving the company a “brand readjustment.” In a YouTube video Karber gave a call to action saying, “Together we can make Abercrombie & Fitch the No.1 brand of homeless apparel.”
Ed Helms Boycotts Chick-fil-A
The Hang0ver actor Ed Helms tweeted in 2012 that he would no longer eat at Chick-Fil-A. His boycott came in the wake of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy telling a Christian publication that he and his company supported “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Chick-Fil-A reportedly donated $2 million to religious groups that oppose gay marriage in 2000. In his tweet Helms wrote, “Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan.”