DIY company Wickes is finding itself in hot water after its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Fraser Longden, made remarks stating that customers who hold gender-critical views are not welcome in their stores.
Wickes previously faced criticism in 2022 for their float at Brighton Pride, which carried the slogan ‘No LGB without the T.’
This Slogan Is “Discrimination”
Gender-critical activists argued that this slogan discriminated against gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals.
It Was Meant to Show Support
During the Trans summit organized by Pinknews, Longden defended the pride float carried out by Wickes, stating that it was meant to show support for the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledging that changing the minds of transphobic people would be challenging.
The COO Explained His Stance
Longden went on to state that the majority of the UK population is “slightly ignorant” about Trans issues but holds kind intentions.
A Small Minority Full of “Hot Air”
He referred to anti-trans activists as a small minority full of “hot air,” suggesting that if they chose to shop at Wickes and behaved in a discriminatory manner, they would not be welcome in their stores.
The Company Received Widespread Criticism
Longden’s remarks quickly ignited heated backlash, leading to a five-point drop in Wickes’ share price. On Twitter, the hashtag #BoycottWickes started trending, with thousands of tweets expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s stance.
Calls for a Boycott
Some users even called for a BudLight-like backlash, referring to the beer brand’s collaboration with Trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which resulted in substantial financial losses and widespread condemnation.
Prominent Individuals Shared Their Opposition
Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, known for her opposition to Trans inclusion in sports, criticized Wickes.
They’ll Be Taking Their Business Elsewhere
She wrote, “So Wickes thinks anyone in the UK that thinks biological females deserve fair and safe sport is homophobic! That’s an awful lot of mums, dads, grandparents, brothers, and of course females who’ll be taking their business elsewhere.”
Does It Reflect the Majority Customer Base?
Other commentators, such as James Esses, labeled Longden’s comments offensive, divisive, and discriminatory, questioning how Wickes’ majority customer base would feel about being held in such disdain by senior management.
In response to the backlash, Wickes issued an email to customers addressing the hashtags and the increased scrutiny on social media.
His Comments Had Been Taken Out of Context
The email emphasized that Longden is a passionate supporter of inclusion, diversity, and the LGBTQ+ community and that his comments had been taken out of context.
Commitment to Being an Inclusive Employer
Wickes affirmed its commitment to being an inclusive employer, respecting differing opinions and beliefs, while excluding those who engage in abusive behavior.
Wickes Received Support
While facing criticism, Wickes also received support for its stance on Trans inclusion.
Left-wing commentator Owen Jones commended the company, emphasizing that there is no LGB without the T, as all members of the LGBTQ+ community face backlash based on gender expectations.
How Can You Boycott if You’re Banned?
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
A Twitter user commented, “Transphobes are told they’re not welcome in stores, so they’re boycotting the store, therefore agreeing not to come into the store they’re already not welcome in. So Wickes are winning, but the transphobes are trying to give the impression that they are.”
“Final Last Words” – Palliative Care Nurse Reveals the Most Common Words Spoken Before Death, Can You Predict the Chilling Pattern?
Julie, a dedicated hospice nurse from Los Angeles, California, with 1.3 million followers, sheds light on the moments before death and dispels hospice myths. “Final Last Words” – Palliative Care Nurse Reveals the Most Common Words Spoken Before Death, Can You Predict the Chilling Pattern?
Female Army Vet Accused of Faking Her Credentials, BUT When They Checked Her Background – They Were in for a Surprise!
This tale of not judging a book by its cover comes from Reddit. A military veteran questioned the legitimacy of another vet’s claim to be part of the school’s veterans organization. Female Army Vet Accused of Faking Her Credentials, BUT When They Checked Her Background – They Were in for a Surprise!
Trans Swimmer Falls Short in Men’s Team, Wins Gold in Women’s Division – Now Faces Possible Lifetime Ban Amid Controversy
A transgender swimmer has been surrounded by controversy after winning the NCAA and not facing a ban. Trans Swimmer Falls Short in Men’s Team, Wins Gold in Women’s Division – Now Faces Possible Lifetime Ban Amid Controversy
“Honey, I’m Home!” – Husband Cuts Work Hours to Teach His Wife a Lesson, Now She’s up in Arms for Missing Out on Luxuries
A man recently asked Redditors for their opinions after he cut back at work to satisfy his wife’s demands that he do more chores at home. Here is his full story. “Honey, I’m Home!” – Husband Cuts Work Hours to Teach His Wife a Lesson, Now She’s up in Arms for Missing Out on Luxuries
“Unsafe Haven for Black Students” – White Professor’s Explosive Racial Confrontation With Black Student Ignites Controversy and Heated Discourse
The footage, which quickly went viral, shows the professor vehemently shouting at the student, demanding to know their name, and ultimately instructing them to leave the classroom. The incident has ignited a broader discussion about racial dynamics and appropriate conduct within educational environments, particularly within historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). “Unsafe Haven for Black Students” – White Professor’s Explosive Racial Confrontation With Black Student Ignites Controversy and Heated Discourse
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Asier Romero. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.