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Olympics Corporate Sponsors Get Grilled On Russian Controversy

Olympic Sponsors

With human rights atrocities causing controversy in Russia, scrutiny of the 2014 Olympic games and its sponsors seems to be at an all time high. LGBT rights advocates have already begun targeting Olympic corporate sponsors such as Procter & Gamble and McDonalds. Now, Buzzfeed is attempting to gather statements from even more corporate sponsors, despite the fact that many seemed reluctant to do so. 

Sochi LogoA vast majority of statements provided back to Buzzfeed seemed to echo prior statements made by the International Olympic Committee. Many even referred to some of those statements directly. Those sponsors included Dow Chemical, Samsung, McDonald’s and Visa, which all used strikingly similar verbiage "down to the adjectives used, suggesting coordination among the sponsors or directly from the IOC itself." All four, for instance, used the sentence, in some form or another, "___________ believes in the spirit of the Games and its unique ability to unite the world in a way that is positive and inspirational."

Panasonic and Adecco, a workforce solutions company, both chose to give responses that were even less committal. Adecco told Buzzfeed “we’re closely monitoring these developments, but I’m afraid we cannot offer a comment at this stage.” Panasonic, meanwhile, informed them that the company “has no involvement in, and is not in a position to comment on political and social matters related to the Olympic Games or specific governments in any country or region.” At the same time, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft chose not to respond to Buzzfeed at all. 

Sochi Olympic RingsGE seemed to be the one sponsor that was willing to hold th IOC accountable in any way, saying in their statement that “we expect the IOC to uphold human rights in every aspect of the Games.” It isn't exactly clear, though, what GE is prepared to do to ensure that standard, or what sort of consequences it intends to present, if any. The IT company Athos took a slightly softer stand, saying that "We are fully confident that the IOC will do the right thing." While that sort of statement is significantly more passive, it at least puts some pressure on the IOC to modify its current stance. 

Some companies also chose to spotlight their previous records of LGBT inclusion and advocacy. One such company was Coca-Cola, which touted its prior record as "a strong supporter of the LGBT community [that has] advocated for inclusion and diversity through both our policies and practices.” McDonalds also added in their statement that "there’s no room for discrimination under the Golden Arches." 

You can read Buzzfeed's full report HERE


Gay Activists to March on McDonald's Headquarters, Demand it Dump Sponsorship of Sochi Winter Olympics

Mcsochi

A Chicago-area activist group is planning to march on the McDonald's corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois on August 17 at 11 am:

The group is calling on McDonald's to cease their support of the Games to take a stand against Russia's harsh new anti-LGBT laws. In a deal that lasts through 2020, McDonald's pays about $100 million to be sole retail food sponsor for each pair of Olympics in a four-year period.

The protest will "tell McDonald's Corp. to stop sponsoring the homophobic Sochi Winter Olympics. Russia has implemented laws to arrest and deport anyone who is or they suspect is gay," according to StonewallAgain's Facebook page.

The organization's founder, Mike Lackovich, said that he had become dismayed with the situation in Russia and tried in vain to get contact with McDonald's, which has so far remained silent on the matter.

This week McDonald's was targeted with a parody ad which featured a gay teen being brutalized by a gang of Russian thugs. The clip has been removed from YouTube.


McDonald's Offers a Taste of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: VIDEO

Mcsochi

I'd expect more Sochi 2014 sponsors to be targeted with items like this, sent in by Towleroad reader Robert-John. If you missed the background on its content, click here.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Today, the International Olympic Committee will receive more than 300,000 signatures urging it to denounce Russia's anti-gay laws. 83 members of Congress this week called on John Kerry to clarify the U.S. State Department's position on the controversy.

Russian officials have issued conflicting statements about whether athletes and visitors to the Olympics will be prosecuted under the anti-gay laws. Thus far, the IOC has said it is standing by assurances from the Russian government that the laws will not apply to Sochi visitors, which does nothing to change the fact of their existence and the human rights abuses being inflicted upon LGBT people there on a daily basis.

Continue reading "McDonald's Offers a Taste of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: VIDEO" »


News: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, GOP, James Franco, FAA

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Listen: Beyonce and Andre 3000's version of Amy Winehouse's track "Back to Black."

Johanna6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Iceland's Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the first openly gay prime minister in the entire world, steps down from her post today.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Coldplay's Chris Martin's shirtless day in the park.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The Church of England's seemingly pro-gay request: "The Diocese of Manchester has instructed the official panel appointing its new bishop to select someone who can establish “positive relationships” with gay Anglicans and non-worshippers."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d GOP organization funding marriage equality lobbying efforts: "The group has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, including efforts in Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia and Utah."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Two and a Half Men is coming back next year but without the half part.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova denied parole.

Franco6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival awards James Franco with Ally Award today: "His multi-faceted talents coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker's right to free expression."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer had to undergo shoulder surgery yesterday following a bicycle accident.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d McDonald's might make breakfast an all day option.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The White House Correspondents' Dinner takes place in DC tonight - hosted by Conan O'Brien.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Relief is in sight - those recent lengthy flight delays caused by sequester-related furloughs will come to an end by tomorrow: "The FAA issued a statement Saturday, saying that it had suspended all employee furloughs and that 'the system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening.'"

 


Man Makes Anti-Gay Remarks, Slashes Victim with Razor Blade in Manhattan McDonald's

Razor

Police are searching for a man seen above on surveillance footage in a McDonald's in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, MyFoxNY reports:

Police say a 22-year-old man was attacked with a razor blade inside the restaurant on West 3rd Street on Wednesday evening. Police say the suspect made anti-gay remarks to the victim at about 7 p.m.  It turned physical and then the suspect took out a blade.

He slashed the victim in the face, back, neck and elbow before running away. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital and required multiple stitches for his injuries.

The suspect is black, 35-40 years old, 5'9" to 5'10" and weighs between 300-350 pounds. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.  Police say that all calls will be kept confidential.

This particular McDonald's has been the site of many problems and fights. In March there was a plan to add off-duty police officers at the location.

This is also the McDonald's where Damian Furtch, a gay waiter, was brutally assaulted in March of 2011.


NEWS: Putin Wins, Santorum Talks, Limbaugh Is Both Loved And Hated, McDonald's Gets Weird

6f89323b44a7a1a9d8e0b423dccb
Road Putin won:

Russia's opposition has vowed to continue protests alleging widespread irregularities after a tearful Vladimir Putin claimed victory in an election that will see him return for a third term as president.

With more than 90 per cent of votes counted on Sunday night, the tally for the former spy who has dominated Russian politics for the past dozen years stood at 65 per cent. That represents a comfortable victory with no need to go into a second round of voting.

Later blaming the wind for the tears in his eyes, Mr Putin wasted no time in declaring victory, addressing thousands of Russian flag-waving supporters at a victory rally outside the Kremlin walls.

“I promised we would win. And we did win!” Mr Putin said, to cheers from his supporters. “We won an open and honest battle.”

RICK-SANTORUM-COLLEGE-1 Road The making of Santorum, a man of moral profundity:

... As [Karen Garver and Rick Santorum] made plans to marry and he decided to enter politics, she sent him to her father for advice.

Dr. Kenneth L. Garver was a Pittsburgh pediatrician who specialized in medical genetics. The patriarch of a large Roman Catholic family, he had treated patients considering abortion but was strongly opposed to it.

“We sat across the table and the whole evening we talked about this issue,” Mr. Santorum told an anti-abortion group last October. He left, he said, convinced “that there was only one place to be, from the standpoint of science as well as from the standpoint of faith.”

Road The utterances of Santorum, a man who can't keep his mouth on message:

“The Blunt amendment was broader than that,” Santorum told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “It was a conscience clause exception that existed prior to when President Obama decided that he could impose his values on people of faith, when people of faith believe that this is a grievous moral wrong.”

Road This editorial about Rush Limbaugh's latest orgy of public awfulness gets a few things very, very wrong, but it contains at least one delightful turn of phrase:

Inadvertently, Rush also helped advance the argument from the left that Republicans are waging a war against women. After referring to Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute," he offered the following proposition:

"So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives ... we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

The image suggested is equally degrading to Limbaugh given his obvious familiarity with "watching," and invites unflattering speculation. To wit: It is entirely possible that Limbaugh himself never needed contraception in college, but virtue in the absence of opportunity is hardly a moral triumph.

Road ... and despite overwhelming public disapproval, misogynists and sexophobes just keep digging themselves deeper.

Road And deeper.

Picture 3The best thing to hit the web this weekend: a collection of terrifying children's drawings.

Road Christian schools in Texas don't want to play basketball with Muslims.

Road Dear God, what's Quick serving to French people? (That's Quick, not McDonald's, contrary to previous reports. Thank you, readers, for pointing out this knuckleheaded error.)

Road "Blacks and gays: The shared struggle for civil rights."

 


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