Olly Alexander on Corporate Pride Campaigns: 'The Bare Minimum Approach Makes Me Laugh'

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Olly Alexander performs with Jax Jones at the Radio 1 Big Weekend at Stewart Park on May 26, 2019 in Middlesbrough, England.

For the last decade of Pride celebrations, LGBTQ activists and attendees have grappled with the morality of corporate brands creating Pride month campaigns catering to the LGBTQ community. Some argue that the interest of corporations in queer customers marks an important shift in representation for the community, while many others say that brands are marketing to queer people purely for profit margins, rather than taking a progressive stance.   

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander made his position on the matter clear over the weekend, as he posted a screenshot to his Instagram of an email from an unnamed corporate representative reaching out for promotion from the singer. “I was hoping that Olly Alexander might be able to do a post for us?” part of the message reads.

Alexander commented on the fact that this exact email was likely sent to multiple artists, with little to no information about the product included. “My manager has been getting requests like this every day,” he wrote. “I’m guessing it was emailed out to a bunch of people, no details on what this amazing pride collection is or what this big famous brand with lots of money plan to do with any ‘proceeds.’”

The singer further elaborated, saying that the sheer number of products pandering to queer consumers this Pride season was staggering. “No matter where you stand on corporate brand-Pride tie ins it’s hard not to feel this years 2019 pride collection of mouthwash, t-shirts (socks shoes jumpers glasses hats ) banks and sandwiches has felt especially icky,” he wrote.

Alexander went as far as saying that corporations who donated a mere portion of their proceeds to LGBTQ charities are still not doing enough to advance queer acceptance during Pride month. “The bare minimum approach here makes me laugh,” he wrote. “Re-doing your logo in a rainbow and ‘dOnAtInG a PoRTiOn Of pRoCeEds’ is not enough!!!!(possibly not even happening with this brand!??)). I wish brands would realize how embarrassing this kind of shit is.”

Check out Alexander’s full post below:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

my manager has been getting requests like this every day, I’m guessing it was emailed out to a bunch of people, no details on what this amazing pride collection is or what this big famous brand with lots of money plan to do with any ‘proceeds’. I just.... the bare minimum approach here makes me laugh. No matter where you stand on corporate brand-pride tie ins it’s hard not to feel this years 2019 pride collection of mouthwash, t-shirts (socks shoes jumpers glasses hats ) banks and sandwiches has felt especially icky. representation matters, of course, and corporate pride / rainbow capitalism might be hideous but at least queer people are getting paid...and....I know there are well intentioned people behind many of these campaigns but....just no. Re-doing your logo in a rainbow and ‘dOnAtInG a PoRTiOn Of pRoCeEds’ is not enough!!!!(possibly not even happening with this brand!??)) I wish brands would realize how embarrassing this kind of shit is ----‍♀️

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