17 Jan Trump’s L.L.Bean Tweet Draws More Controversy
Donald Trump urged his 19.6 million Twitter followers to buy L.L.Beans’ goods as the outdoor retailer faces a call for a boycott because one of its owners donated money to help elect Donald Trump.
The tweet was sent a week after the Associated Press reported that L.L.Bean heiress and board member Linda Bean contributed $60,000 to the pro-Trump pact Making America Great Again LLC. Individual contributions are supposed to be limited to $5,000. The Grab Your Wallet campaign – launched in October in response to Trump’s comments about women – encourages consumers to avoid retailers that sell Trump products or whose owners support the incoming president.
On Thursday, Trump added his support by tweeting, “Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean.”
On January 8, Shawn Gorman, executive chairman of L.L.Bean, issued a statement on Facebook expressing his disappointment about the boycott but also reiterated the lack of any one political agenda.
“We fully acknowledge and respect that some may disagree with the political views of a single member of our 10-person board of directors,” Gorman wrote. “Like most large families, the more than 50 family member-owners of the business hold views and embrace causes across the political spectrum, just as our employees and customers do. And as every member of the family would agree, no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company that (Leon Leonwood Bean) built.”
Trump’s endorsement came less than two hours after Linda Bean said on a talk show early Thursday that anti-Trump groups are browbeating American businesses.
“It’s bullying,” Bean told the Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. “They want to control how we spend our money, what we buy, where we buy it. That’s wrong, it’s un-American.”