Hobby Lobby Faces A New Boycott. Here's Why

Hobby Lobby has caused a lot of controversy this year. First, a number of the arts and crafts stores opened for business even though they were supposed to be shut down due to stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic (per Slate). Now, they're seemingly encouraging people to vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election, leading to calls for a boycott.

The public outcry began after Twitter user Kari Brekke posted a photo of a display of letters arranged to spell "USA VOTE TRUMP." Brekke wrote "In a Hobby Lobby" in the caption, leading furious shoppers to demand a boycott.

Brekke told Business Insider that she found the photo in a public Facebook group for supporters of the Lincoln Project, a conservative organization dedicated to preventing Trump from being re-elected. Former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway's husband, George Conway, was notably involved with the organization but recently departed from the group when he and his wife withdrew from politics.

Hobby Lobby frequently finds itself under fire

While many critics are calling out Hobby Lobby for the political display, others are pointing out that the letters could very well have been rearranged by a customer.

While Hobby Lobby hasn't commented on the controversy, they have expressed conservative viewpoints in the past. In 2012, they came under fire for not covering contraceptive access under their insurance plan for employees. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, which determined that, as a private company, Hobby Lobby could legally do this on the basis of religious freedom (per The New York Times).

In 2013, the company's founder and CEO, David Green, was put on blast for telling a customer that Hobby Lobby does not carry products for Jewish holidays as the store "doesn't cater to your people." Again, people called for a boycott and Green publicly apologized in a statement to the Anti-Defamation League (per The Oklahoman).