Better than Boycott
In late January 2016 there was a news item about Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter donating 1M$ to a veterans’ fundraiser organized by Donald Trump. Link (hollywood reporter).
Some people mischaracterized this as a campaign donation. It wasn’t. Trump eventually released information on where the money was going. Link (military times).
But that doesn’t mean the fundraiser wasn’t politically motivated. It represents Trump doing damage control with a demographic he may not have thought he had to actively court.
Donating to Trump’s fundraiser was an endorsement of Trump’s brand. To be clear, it was an endorsement of sexism, racism, homophobia, and religious intolerance.
These are values I oppose. I’m disgusted at the thought that my fiscal support of the Marvel brand in any way, no matter how small, contributed to furthering the agenda of a heinous bigot.
My first instinct was just to boycott everything from Marvel.
But Marvel, after a long not-so-great track record, has recently made significant steps toward increasing the diversity of representation in its comic books, and to a lesser extent, of its creators.
I want to support the creators brave enough to do work that challenges and even subverts the status quo. I want these books to flourish in the market, so we get more of them. And I want to read them and benefit from exposure to fresh perspectives.
I thought hard about this for several days, then I had an idea.
I was inspired by a story I heard about the anarchist punk band Chumbawamba, who had a huge hit on a major label after 15 years of obscurity.
In interviews, Chumbawamba said they took EMI’s money and invested it in anti-corporate advocacy.
My approach is similar — for every dollar I spend on Marvel products, I’m donating at least as much to causes calculated to annoy and undermine the likes of Trump and Perlmutter as much as possible.
And I’m tweeting about it each time, to keep this issue in people’s minds as best I can.
I can’t — and shouldn’t! — tell Isaac Perlmutter how to spend his money.
But what I can do is raise awareness that his profligate support of bigotry is not aligned with the values or interests of Marvel’s customers.
And at some point that may not make business sense for Marvel.
If you agree, I hope you’ll join me. #BetterThanBoycott #DumpTrump #DumpPerlmutter
Some additional resources I found researching this story: