You don’t need a calendar to figure out when June’s begun – just hop on social media and when every popular brand is turning their logos rainbow, you know that Pride month is underway.
After receiving the vaguest email in existence, Years & Years lead singer Olly Alexander took to Instagram to vent his frustration with corporations who superficially try to buy the affections of LGBTQ+ people.
A bunch of celebs seconded Olly’s take with supportive comments, with musician and past X-Factor contestant Seann Miley Moore adding: “book us all year not just out of novelty- pay queer talent”.
‘Rainbow capitalism’ is a fairly recent phenomenon, and the LGBTQ+ community’s frustration with its blatant pandering has been felt especially keenly this year.
Branded blunders abound as companies compete for the ‘pink dollar’. British supermarket M&S launched the very poorly considered ‘LGBT Sandwich‘, while Listerine packaged their mouthwash in a cringe worthy, faux-inspirational rainbow wrap – because everyone knows that the morning routine should be a spiritual experience.
As hilarious as it can be to meme these marketing fails to death, there’s a bigger concern behind them that Olly alluded to in his post: it can be very hard to tell what, if anything, is being done with all the profits. Even when companies do donate to LGBTQ+ charities, often it’s a marginal amount. H&M attracted criticism for only donating 10% of the profit from its Pride collection.
So next time you praise a brand for going all ‘Gay Rights!’ in June, remember that it pays to be woke.